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January 31, 2018

Larry Nassar will be back in court to face 57 more victims in Michigan

EAST LANSING (MI)
CNN

January 30, 2018

By Eric Levenson

(CNN)The legal reckoning with Larry Nassar's years of sexual abuse isn't over.

Nassar, the longtime former team doctor for USA Gymnastics and faculty member at Michigan State University, will return to court Wednesday morning for sentencing in Eaton County, Michigan, where he has pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal sexual conduct.

The Michigan attorney general's office said 57 victims are expected to speak out in court about Nassar's abuse, according to Eaton County Court Administrator Beryl Frenger.

The court has already set aside three days for victim impact statements, and the hearing is expected to go into next week to give each victim time to speak, Frenger said.

The sentencing in Eaton County is likely to be similar to the remarkable victim impact statements in nearby Ingham County over the past two weeks.

'He took a part of me that I'll never get back': Simone Biles tears up as she talks about pedophile Larry Nassar and reveals that Olympics Committee STILL has not contacted her about the sickening abuse

UNITED STATES
Daily Mail

January 31, 2018

By Jennifer Smith

- Biles appeared on NBC to give interviews to both Hoda Kotb and Megyn Kelly
- She cried as she spoke to Kotb on Today and said she was 'very happy' with Nassar's 175-year sentencing
- To Kelly, the 20-year-old told how he stole her trust by sexually abusing her
- Biles bemoaned how she has still not been given an apology from either USA Gymnastics or the US Olympics Committee
- Aly Raisman, her fellow Olympic gold medalist and teammate, has described their silence as 'disgusting'
- Despite the ordeal, Biles is back in the gym preparing for the 2020 Olympics
- Nassar will face more victims in a separate Michigan courtroom for another case on Wednesday

Simone Biles cried as she spoke about pedophile Dr. Larry Nassar on Wednesday morning during a tour of Today.

The 20-year-old spoke first to Hoda Kotb and reduced her to tears as she lamented how Nassar, who has been sentenced to 175 years in jail and counting for his abhorrent abuse of countless girls, assaulted her.

'It's very hard for someone to go through what I've gone through recently and it's very hard to talk about,' Biles, a five-time Olympic medalist, said.

She praised Judge Rosemarie Aquilina who sentenced to Nassar to 175 years imprisonment last week after a lengthy and highly publicized sentencing phase, reiterating her earlier comment that she was her 'hero'.

'The judge is my hero because she gave it to him straight and didn't let him get any power over any of the girls and letting the girls speak was very powerful,' she said.

Vatican to probe Chile clergy abuse

VATICAN CITY
The Telegraph India

January 31, 2018

Vatican City: Pope Francis is sending the Catholic Church's top investigator into sexual abuse by clergy to Chile to probe a bishop accused of covering up crimes against minors, in a remarkable turnaround only days after the pope defended him.

A Vatican statement on Tuesday said new information had emerged about Bishop Juan Barros and that Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta would go to "listen to those who want to submit elements in their possession".

The statement, which gave no details, was a stunning U-turn for the pope, who on January 21 told reporters aboard his plane returning from Latin America he was sure Barros was innocent and that the Vatican had received no concrete evidence against him. It was Scicluna who doggedly uncovered evidence of sexual abuse that led to the removal of the late Mexican priest Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, in 2005.

Communities That Protect Abusers

ISRAEL
Times of Israel

By Dr. Michael Salamon

January 31, 2018

Can an entire town come together to protect a childhood sexual abuser – actually protect the abuser – not the child?

This question may seem foolish or rhetorical at best but one look at some recent events tends to highlight the extent to which some communities go to protect the abusers in their midst.
Rachael Denhollander, the first to come forward and accuse Dr. Larry Nassar of abuse while he allegedly cared for gymnasts, swimmers and Olympic athletes over many years had to, in her words, build an army to take on this abuser and his supporters.

Ultimately, over 150 women athletes, many of them Olympians, confronted Nassar in court. Denhollander was not believed initially. It took some time, Olympic effort and commitment to bring him to justice but the persistence paid off.

The bravery that Denhollander and her “army” displayed caused the United States Olympic Committee to force the entire U.S. Gymnastics Committee to resign, and the President of Michigan State University to step down. A special prosecutor has been appointed to look into the possibility that the sports departments at University of Michigan had been covering for Nassar and also for several accusations against their football and basketball teams.

This is not an unheard of situation. There have been other cases where communities protect abusers at the expense of children who are victims. Recall the Jerry Sandusky Penn State scandal. Sandusky, the assistant Football coach, was known to have been abusing young boys for years. He was even reported to his Head coach, Joe Paterno and University administration but for years the entire community at Penn State looked away or worse, rationalized that he was a charitable fellow; after all, he organized and ran The Second Mile charity organization. Still for at least 15 years he was sexually abusing young boys using his football connections and his charity to groom and abuse. He has some protectors still even though he is in jail.

WATCH: Protesters take on church leader accused of sexual harassment

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL News

January 30, 2018

By Khanyisile Ngcobo

Johannesburg - The Pretoria City Mission Methodist Church on Tuesday confirmed it was investigating events relating to a sexual harassment protest held at the church on Monday.

This comes after videos emerged on social media showing a group of women disrupting what appears to be a service by walking up to the pulpit with placards in hand.

The small group of women are seen standing in front of the pulpit in protest and at one point, church leaders appear to try and stop them and in the end, get into an argument with a few of them.

Sexual harassment claims at Pta church

TSHWANE (SOUTH AFRICA)
Pretoria East Rekord

January 31, 2018

By Thato Mahlangu

“We are disturbed and saddened by what gave rise to such action.”

A Pretoria church could be facing sexual abuse claims.

A steward from the Central Methodist Church in Pretoria has been accused by a group of young women of sexual harassment.

The aggrieved group took to the church’s altar to stage a silent protest, disrupting last Sunday’s church service.

The group of women could be seen in a video doing the rounds on social media, staging a silent protest followed by an altercation with some of the church leaders.

#Trending: Video showing Women allegedly protesting Sexual Abuse from Church Leader

TSHWANE (SOUTH AFRICA)
BellaNaija.com

January 31, 2018

A video showing 2 young women in Wesley Methodist Church in Tshwane, South Africa, disrupting church service to protest alleged sexual abuse is trending on social media.

In the video posted by @AthiGeleba, 2 young women are seen standing before the church holding up sheets of paper.

One of the women is seen arguing while elders speak to her.

Mother testifies in suit against Mormon Church

MARTINSBURG (WV)
The Journal

January 31, 2018

By Kelsie LeRose

MARTINSBURG — The civil case alleging members of the Mormon Church had covered up sexual abuse by the son of church leaders continued its second full week Tuesday with Sandra Lee Jensen taking the stand as a witness for the plaintiffs.

Sandra Lee Jensen is the mother of the Christopher Michael Jensen–who is serving 35 to 75 years in prison for sexually abusing two minors at the ages of 4 and 3.

The lawsuit, filed in 2013, accuses the church and its leaders of actively covering up the abuse and assisting Michael Jensen in committing further acts by enabling him to babysit for and live with other church families with young children.

Nine families are involved in the lawsuit against the church, Jensen’s parents Chris and Sandra Lee Jensen, and church officials Steven Grow and Don Fishel.

Michael Jensen was initially accused of sexual abuse in 2004 in Provo, Utah, where he was arrested at his middle school and charged with two felony counts of sexual abuse for allegedly pinning two 12-and 13-year-old females against a wall and fondling them inappropriately without consent. A plea agreement was reached in the case, which resulted in the charges being reduced to two misdemeanor counts of lewdness.

In 2007, Jensen was accused of fondling a 14-year-old girl outside of a movie theater in Martinsburg. According to court records, Jensen’s mother allegedly knew about the theater incident and asked the girl if she was OK and if there was “a problem.” No criminal charges were filed.

The victim testified in court last week that she did not consent during the incident, according to Carl Kravitz, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

INQUIRY INTO CHILD SEX ABUSE OUTLINES CHURCH OF ENGLAND INVESTIGATION

ENGLAND
The Tablet

January 30, 2018

By Megan Cornwell

Among several themes to be explored is what impact 'clericalism' had on child sexual abuse investigations

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse has outlined the areas it will be focusing on with regards to the Church of England. Public hearings into the Church will begin in March.

The hearings will focus on the Diocese of Chichester, where several clergymen were found to have abused young boys. The inquiry will also look at the disgraced former Bishop of Gloucester, Peter Ball, who was imprisoned in 2015 after admitting the abuse of 18 young men over a period of 15 years. It will then examine how well the Church's current safeguarding practices are working, Fiona Scolding QC, the lead lawyer for the Anglican strand of the inquiry, explained today at a preliminary hearing in Southwark.

Scolding said that among the areas under investigation by the panel was the question: “How far does the Church’s attitude towards same-sex relationships, sexual orientation and gender contribute to difficulties with cultural change necessary to promote effective safeguarding?” Another question will be to what extent to which the culture within the Church "inhibited the proper investigation, exposure and prevention of child sexual abuse".

The hearing into Bishop Ball will cover a number of topics, Scolding said. These will include why the Church failed to take steps during the 1990s to refer further information to police, whether the culture of the Church had an impact on the investigation at the time, why the Crown Prosecution Service decided to give Ball a caution rather than prosecute him and what was known about Ball’s case during an archiepiscopal visitation that took place 2011/12. Scolding also said the inquiry would review "why Peter Ball was granted an informal permission to officiate, even given his offending...".

The hearing for Chichester Diocese will focus on the findings of past investigations and the steps taken by the Church of England to implement recommendations. It will look at the values and behaviour of the Church and whether they “inhibited or continue to inhibit the investigation, exposure and prevention of child sexual abuse”, and whether the response to victims was appropriate.

However, the inquiry will not be investigating the case of the late Bishop George Bell, former Bishop of Chichester, who was posthumously accused of assaulting a young girl in the 1940s and 1950s. In December a separate inquiry criticised the Church’s “deficient” handling of the allegations made against him, after several proponents of Bell spoke out in his defence. Scolding said the hearings will not consider “the truth or substance of the allegations made concerning Bishop George Bell”.

Opinion: Zero tolerance? The facts don't support the pope's claims on child abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
The Guardian

January 31, 2018

By Kieran Tapsell

Pope Francis says there’s no leniency for clergy accused of child sex abuse. It’s not true

On his return flight from Lima to Rome in January, Pope Francis claimed, as he has so often before, that he has zero tolerance for clergy who sexually abuse children: “I continue with the policy of zero tolerance initiated by Benedict XVI, and in five years I have not signed a single request for leniency. If the appeal court confirms the decision of the lower court, the only other avenue is to ask the pope for leniency. In my time as pope, I have received some 25 requests, and have signed none of them.”

On hearing Francis’s claims, an ordinary person might believe that the Catholic church insists on dismissing priests who sexually abuse children – but that is not what usually happens.

There are three ways under canon law by which a priest can be dismissed: 1) by a canonical court, with the priest having the right of appeal to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), which is the Vatican department in charge of child sexual abuse allegations against clergy; 2) a bishop can ask the CDF to dismiss a priest directly; 3) the CDF can refer the matter to the pope with a request that he dismiss the priest.

Francis’s claim that he has never exercised leniency after a canonical trial and appeal may well be true, but it is not true where he has been requested by the CDF to dismiss a priest, and it is not true of the CDF when it exercises its own powers.

In 2010, the Holy See issued a guide to understanding CDF procedures for sexual abuse allegations. Where the accused has admitted his crimes, the guide says that the CDF can require him to “live a life of prayer and penance”, with restrictions on his public ministry.

In cases under the third procedure, Francis has granted leniency by refusing to accept CDF dismissal recommendations for some of the worst offenders, and instead, required them to live a “life of prayer and penance” with restrictions on their public ministry.

Church of England's 'culture of secrecy' under the spotlight in abuse inquiry

ENGLAND
Christian Today

January 31, 2018

A public inquiry into sex abuse in the Church of England will focus on the institution's culture of secrecy.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), chaired by Professor Alexis Jay, will focus on how the Diocese of Chichester handled sex abuse allegations and its failure to protect survivors.

Fiona Scolding QC, the lead lawyer for the Anglican strand of the inquiry, said the inquiry would not focus on the late Bishop George Bell, former Bishop of Chichester, who was posthumously accused of assaulting a young girl in the 1940s and 1950s. However it will focus on the former Bishop of Gloucester, Peter Ball, who was imprisoned in 2015 after admitting he abused 18 young men over 15 years.

In a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, according to The Tablet, Scolding said the investigation would also ask: 'How far does the Church's attitude towards same-sex relationships, sexual orientation and gender contribute to difficulties with cultural change necessary to promote effective safeguarding?'

The public inquiry on the Diocese of Chichester will begin on March 5 and the hearing on Peter Ball on July 23.

The Church's lead on safeguarding, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, Peter Hancock, said: 'IICSA has announced today further details of the investigation into the Anglican Church in England and Wales, focusing on the Chichester case study, with the first public hearing in March.

Priest accused of having child porn free on $250,000 bond

BELLEVILLE (IL)
The Associated Press via WLS-AM

January 31, 2018

A Catholic priest who was arrested in southern Illinois on child pornography charges is now free on bond.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports the sister of the Rev. Gerald R. Hechenberger posted his bond over the weekend after a judge reduced bail from $2 million to $250,000.

Hechenberger was arrested Jan. 9 after detectives found images and videos of child pornography and drug paraphernalia at Holy Childhood Church and school in Mascoutah where Hechenberger is associate pastor.

Failures offer opportunity to improve protection efforts, expert says

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

January 30, 2018

by Carol Glatz

ROME — Failure and disappointment in the Catholic Church's response to abuse should be an impetus to reassess, refocus and rededicate oneself to improving and expanding efforts in healing and prevention, said a researcher at Rome's Center for Child Protection.

For example, "Pope Francis' infelicitous words — experienced as a 'slap' by those who have suffered abuse — during his recent visit to Chile" raises the question, "is there hope for real change in the church?" wrote Sara Boehk, a member of the center's research team. Her article appeared on the center's blog — childprotection.unigre.it — Jan. 26.

The center, which is part of the Pontifical Gregorian University, provides training, formation and educational resources in the field of safeguarding minors. Its president is Jesuit Fr. Hans Zollner, who had been a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Boehk's commentary — titled "Is there hope for real change in the church?" — was published after Pope Francis' visit to Chile, where he told reporters that he would not take action against a Chilean bishop unless accusations that he covered up abuse could be supported with proof; otherwise, he said, any claims Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno knew or witnessed abuses committed by his former mentor amounted to "calumny." The pope later apologized, saying he only realized later that his words erroneously implied that victims' accusations are credible only with concrete evidence.

Pope sends sex abuse envoy to Chile after deeming allegations a "calumny"

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

January 31.2018

VATICAN CITY (AP) — After coming under excoriating public criticism, Pope Francis decided Tuesday to send the Vatican’s most respected sex crimes expert to Chile to investigate a bishop accused by victims of covering up for the country’s most notorious pedophile priest.

The Vatican said Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna would travel to Chile “to listen to those who have expressed the desire to provide elements” about the case of Bishop Juan Barros.

The move marks the first known time the Vatican has launched a full-blown investigation into allegations of sex abuse cover-up, and it comes after Francis was harshly criticized by the media, survivors of abuse, his fellow Jesuits and some of his top advisers for his unwavering defense of Barros.

Former Delaware Catholic priest charged in 25-year-old child sex case

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

January 31, 2018

By Xerxes Wilson

In what appears to be a first, Delaware is prosecuting a former Catholic priest for "sexual intercourse" with a child more than 25 years ago.

John A. Sarro, 76, a former priest with the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, was indicted this week by a New Castle County grand jury on charges of first-degree unlawful sexual intercourse and second-degree unlawful sexual contact, according to court records.

Sarro was a priest in Bear and Bellefonte through much of the '80s and '90s. He was identified by diocese officials in 2006 as one of 20 local priests with "admitted, corroborated or otherwise substantiated" allegations of sexual abuse of minors against them.

But the conduct that landed Sarro in that group is said to be separate from the current charge.

His Monday indictment accuses him in the early 1990s of having "sexual intercourse" with a girl under the age of 16. Those crimes would have taken place when Sarro's was serving at St. Helena Parish in Bellefonte, though specifics of his relationship with the alleged victim, or her identity, are not detailed in court documents.

After Defending Controversial Bishop, Pope To Send Sex Abuse Investigator To Chile

CHILE
National Public Radio

January 30, 2018

By Sylvia Poggioli

When Pope Francis visited Chile earlier this month, he lashed out at victims of sexual abuse and accused them of "calumny" regarding a bishop who is suspected of covering up abuse they endured by a pedophile priest.

The pope said there was "not a shred of evidence" against Chilean Bishop Juan Barros. "The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros," he said, "I'll speak."

Now the pope is sending a top envoy on a mission to Chile to look into survivors' claims.

A Vatican statement said Maltese Bishop Charles Scicluna, the Church's most respected sex crimes expert, will "listen to those who have expressed the desire to provide elements" about the case of Barros. It said new information had emerged.

The pope's remarks in Chile had highlighted some Vatican-watchers' concerns about his commitment to combating sexual abuse by members of the Catholic clergy — an issue that has undermined the Catholic Church's moral authority in much of the world.

There were high expectations in 2014 when the pope created the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, headed by Cardinal Sean O'Malley.

Choir director Hodgman resigns Adrian College position

ADRIAN (MI)
Daily Telegram News

January 30, 2018

By David Panian

ADRIAN — A long-time Adrian College choir director who has been dogged by allegations he had a sexual relationship with a student when he was a high school teacher in the 1980s has resigned from the college.

Adrian College said Tuesday that Thomas Hodgman has resigned.

“The college will make no further comment regarding this matter,” Frank Hribar, vice president for enrollment and student affairs, said in an email.

Hodgman did not immediately return a call from The Daily Telegram seeking comment.

For years, the woman who claims Hodgman abused her when she was a 15-year-old student at a Catholic high school in Southern California has tried to get the college to cut ties with Hodgman.

“The college didn’t want students to know what Hodgman did to me,” Joelle Casteix said Tuesday in an email. “When students found out, (current college President) Jeffrey Docking, (former college President) Stanley Caine, and Hodgman himself did everything in their power to discredit me. Even when the courts said that I was in the right. Even when I had documents to prove every word I said was true.”

Casteix sued Hodgman, the Diocese of Orange, California, and Mater Dei High School in 2003. The lawsuit, which was grouped with others regarding sexual abuse by priests, was settled in 2005. The file in her case was supposed to have been sealed but became public for a short time and was made available to some media outlets. Casteix has since posted what she says are those documents on her website.

“After the college finally conceded that what I said was true, Docking and Hodgman still thought that things could be ‘business as usual,’ ” Casteix wrote in her email. “They thought that Hodgman could go on tour with high school students. They believed that the public, the student body and that Carnegie Hall would turn a blind eye. They believed that the world was as callous as they were.”

January 30, 2018

Michigan State Scandal Makes It Clear: Reports of Sexual Assault Need To Go To One Place

EAST LANSING (MI)
Forbes

January 29, 2018

By Jerry Barca

The victims kept mentioning the same regret.

These were victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests. I had spoken to them during my newspaper reporting days when the scandal became national news in 2002. I spoke to more victims years later as part of background research for another project.

Damage had been done to them, their innocence stripped away as hammer strikes of abuse pounded into their self worth. Of course any and everybody wished it never happened. The victims had another wish, too. If they couldn't change the fact that they had been abused, they wish they would've gone straight to the police, instead of the Church. They would've reported the abuse to legal authorities, not the institution.

That lesson has to be reiterated after what has gone on at Michigan State. Larry Nassar, a team doctor at Michigan State and with USA Gymnastics, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison after more than 160 women and girls made statements in court that he had abused them during the last 20 years. Days after Nassar's sentencing, ESPN's Outside the Lines reported that Michigan State mishandled sexual assault complaints. The investigative report "found a pattern of widespread denial, inaction and information suppression of such allegations by officials ranging from campus police to the Spartan athletic department."

To make it clear, to shout it from the rooftops into a megaphone: Victims that come forward must go to the police. And in Michigan State’s case not the campus police. You have to find a law enforcement agency willing to hear the claim for what it is: an allegation of criminal behavior.

There is still cultural tone-deafness with regard to these issues. Even at Michigan State, as the Nassar situation played out in court, university staffers undergoing training for the school's relationship violence and sexual misconduct policy dropped comments such as "snitches get stitches" with regard to reporting incidents.

Don't think it's just at Michigan State either. Too often institutions, be it churches, schools, community groups, or athletic programs, respond to victims by looking out for its own self-preservation. Victims need an independent investigation. Institutions respond with: how can we make this go away quickly and quietly.

Institutions sell this idea to the victim and the victim's family. They present the line of thinking that handling this quietly is in the victim's self interest. They will talk about how the process of reporting the incident publicly will re-traumatize the victim. Then they'll ask questions like "Do you really want to do this?"

Abuse survivor sues council and Catholic church sect

SCOTLAND
The Herald

January 30, 2018

An abuse survivor is suing a Catholic Church sect and a local authority after he was assaulted by a monk at a residential school.

Michael Murphy, known as Brother Benedict or Brother Ben, abused children in the 1970s and 1980s when he worked at St Joseph's School in Tranent, East Lothian.

He was jailed for seven years in April 2016 at the High Court in Edinburgh after being found guilty of physically and sexually abusing eight boys.

The physical abuse he carried out included habitual and sustained physical punishment as well as the administration of electric shocks, the Crown Office said at the conclusion of the case.

The anonymous survivor, now in his 50s, is suing East Lothian Council and De La Salle Brothers and is seeking damages estimated at a six-figure sum for the pain caused by the former schoolmaster.

He said Brother Benedict "ruined not just my childhood but my adult life".

He added: "He abused his position while working alongside the Council and the Church to fulfil his own sick desires.

"I hope now to be able to find the means to help me rebuild my life."

Victim abused and beaten by notorious monster monk set to sue Catholic sect and council

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

January 30, 2018

By Sarah Vesty

An abuse survivor is seeking a six-figure sum in damages from De Dalle Brothers and the council.

An abuse survivor is suing a Catholic sect and a council after being beaten and assaulted by a notorious monk.

Brother Benedict – real name Michael Murphy – subjected eight schoolboys to a string of attacks at St Joseph’s List D School in Tranent, East Lothian, during the 70s.

He electrocuted pupils, locked them in cupboards, beat them with canes and sexually assaulted them.

Murphy, part of the De La Salle Brothers, was jailed for seven years in 2016 after being found guilty on 15 charges at the High Court in Edinburgh.

One of his victims is now seeking a six-figure sum in damages from East Lothian Council and the De La Salle Brothers.

Catholic, education groups oppose child abuse reporting bill

AURORA (CO)
9 News

January 29, 2018

By Ryan Haarer

Educators, along with a list of other professionals, are required by law to report child abuse allegations to police. But the statute of limitations for failure to report ends 18 months after the fact.

Prosecutors may face challenges in convicting three Cherry Creek School District administrators who failed to report an alleged sexual assault of a student in 2013.

They never called police after they heard that teacher Brian Vasquez, 34, was allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student. It wasn’t until 2017 that Aurora Police arrested Vasquez for a total of five sexual assault claims.

These educators, along with a list of other professionals, are required by law to report child abuse allegations to police. But the statute of limitations for failure to report ends 18 months after the fact.

“When it’s not reported, what happens, it emboldens that adult who is harming a child to continue that behavior,” said State Senator Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora.

The Pandora's Box of Spiritual Abuse is out: Here's what the Church must do

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Christian Today

January 29, 2018

By Rev'd Canon Anna Norman-Walker

This is a blog post by the Revd Canon Anna Norman-Walker, rector of St Leonard's, Streatham. It first appeared on ViaMedia.News and is reproduced with permission.

In Greek mythology Pandora is created by Zeus and given as a wedding gift to the brother of his enemy Prometheus along with a jar containing the many evils of the world. Pandora opens the jar and on realising what she had done she tries to close it in haste; the anguish of the moment is captured in a painting by FS Church in which the young bride kneels helplessly on the box - as one might an over filled suitcase - in an effort to contain the escaping forces of evil.

Over the past few weeks the call has gone out for the church to address the issue of spiritual abuse. This was triggered in part by a recent report carried out by Bournemouth University on behalf of the churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) in which 62 per cent of respondents to the study's research survey believed they had been subject to spiritual abuse. Within a few days of the report's release, news broke of the Oxford priest Revd Timothy Davis' suspension from duties for the spiritual abuse of a teenager he had been mentoring following an investigation under the Clergy Discipline Measure.

Church sexual abuse survivors call for firing of Pastor Andy Savage

MEMPHIS (TN)
WREG Memphis News Channel 3

January 29, 2018

By Stacy Jacobson

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Protesters held up a smattering of signs in an attempt to push forward what they called “Justice for Jules” outside Highpoint Church Monday.

“It’s time to stop being so concerned about the abuser and be more concerned about the abused,” said Kenny Stubblefield, a survivor of church sexual abuse and local activist.

It’s been three weeks since Jules Woodson wrote a narrative of her encounter with Pastor Andy Savage 20 years ago at their Texas church. She said the current Highpoint pastor was then her youth pastor. She said he offered her a ride home and forced her to perform oral sex.

“I was in shock. I didn’t understand what was happening," Woodson said in an interview with CBS News.

Priest banned from ministry to defend George Bell at Church of England's headquarters

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Christian Today

January 30, 2018

By Harry Farley

A priest barred from ministry after being accused of abusing colleagues and making malicious allegations against his superiors is to speak at the Church of England's headquarters in London on Thursday.

Jules Gomes, formerly a priest at St Mary's on the Harbour on the Isle of Man, is an outspoken defender of George Bell, a former Bishop of Chichester who has been accused of historical sex abuse. He will address a group of Bell's supporters in Church House, Westminster, on February 1.

Church House is the building used as the CofE's main London base. The National Church Institutions (NCIs) which govern the Church's daily running, do not own the building nor control its bookings and the CofE appeared to distance itself from the event.

A Church of England spokesperson said: 'We are aware of an event due to take place at Church House Conference Centre Limited, in Westminster, on Feb 1 at which we understand Jules Gomes, a former Church of England parish priest prohibited from ministry for 10 years by a Bishop's Disciplinary Tribunal, has been invited to speak.

'The National Church Institutions are tenants at Church House. Church House Conference Centre Limited, who manage bookings from clients and operate the conference spaces, is an independent conference centre located at Church House.'

VATICAN DEFROCKS ABUSIVE MASSACHUSETTS EX-PRIEST

WORCESTER (MA)
ChurchMilitant

January 29, 2018

By David Nussman

Now-laicized former priest abused a teenage male in 1985

WORCESTER, Mass. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Pope Francis has now defrocked a Massachusetts priest who was accused of sexually abusing a teenage male.

Peter Inzerillo was a priest in the diocese of Worcester. He has now been laicized at his own request, according to an announcement the diocese made on Thursday. The diocese stated, "As a result of the laicization, he may not function in any capacity as a priest or be referred to as a priest or as 'Father' in writing such as in event announcements or obituaries."

Inzerillo sexually abused a 19-year-old male in 1985. He was not criminally charged. But in 1999, he was named in a sex-abuse lawsuit against the diocese of Worcester. The suit ended in the diocese's largest-ever priest sex abuse settlement of about $300,000. Inzerillo was removed from public ministry in 2002 and has remained without public faculties ever since.

French women and #MeToo: It's complicated

FRANCE
Yahoo Lifestyle

January 29, 2018

By Alexandra Mondalek

There are almost as many online guides to achieving that mysterious French-dame coolness as there are people in France: There’s the French girl’s guide to winter beauty, the French girl’s guide to eating, the French girl’s guide to bangs, the French girl’s guide to Halloween, and even the French girl’s guide to hating French girl guides, just for starters.

But in this moment of reckoning for sexual assaulters, there is no French girl’s guide to the movement known as #MeToo (with the exception of this New Yorker spoof). There is a French hashtag equivalent — #BalanceTonPorc or “expose your pig” — but beyond that, it’s complicated.

That’s ultimately because many French women disagree about the validity of the movement itself, and whether its American counterpart is even contextually relevant to French culture.

On one side, there are French women like Sandra Muller, a journalist who coined the hashtag #BalanceTonPorc in mid-October 2017, just before American actress Alyssa Milano tweeted #MeToo. Muller — whose sexual harasser is suing her for defamation, despite admitting to what she’d accused him of — has created a GoFundMe for her own legal expenses, and also plans to create a victim relief fund, similar to the Legal Defense Fund the #TimesUp organizers in the U.S. started, she tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

Pope sends sex crimes expert to Chile to investigate bishop

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

January 30, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is sending the Vatican's most respected sex crimes expert to Chile to investigate a bishop accused by victims of covering up for the country's most notorious pedophile priest.

The Vatican said Tuesday that Maltese Bishop Charles Scicluna would travel to Chile "to listen to those who have expressed the desire to provide elements" about the case of Bishop Juan Barros.

The Barros controversy dominated Francis' just-ended trip to Chile and exposed Francis' blind spot as far as clerical sex abuse is concerned. Even one of his closest advisers, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, publicly rebuked him for his treatment of victims and tried to set him straight.

Barros was a protege of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, a charismatic and politically powerful priest who was sanctioned by the Vatican for sexually abusing minors in 2011. His victims testified to Chilean prosecutors that Barros and other priests in the El Bosque community saw Karadima kissing youngsters and were aware of his perversions, but did nothing.

Pope sends Maltese archbishop to investigate Chilean bishop in abuse cover up case

CHILE
National Catholic Reporter

January 30, 2018

By Dennis Coday

Pope Francis is sending Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta to Chile to take testimony about Bishop Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid of Osorno, Chile, who is accused of covering up allegations of abuse by a Chilean priest who was found guilty of abuse.

The Vatican announced Scicluna’s trip to Chile in a statement this morning.

Scicluna was in charge of sexual abuse cases in the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith from 2002 until 2010. Francis appointed him to lead a commission in the doctrinal congregation to hear appeals of priests accused of sexual abuse.

Archbishop Scicluna sent to Chile to investigate bishop accused of child abuse cover up

CHILE
Times of Malta

January 30, 2018

Pope Francis sends Malta's top cleric on special mission

Archbishop Charles Scicluna has been dispatched to Chile by Pope Francis to look into allegations against a bishop accused of covering up clergy crimes against minors there, the Vatican said on Tuesday.

A statement said Archbishop Scicluna was being dispatched after "new information" had emerged about Bishop Juan Barros of the Chilean city of Osorno.

Archbishop Scicluna is the Vatican's top investigator on child abuse, having previously served as Promoter of Justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under the then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

He doggedly uncovered evidence of sexual abuse against the late founder of the conservative religious order the Legionaries of Christ during the papacy of Benedict XVI, and has a formidable reputation within the Church.

Pope Sends Envoy to Chile to Investigate Bishop Accused of Abuse Cover Up

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

January 30, 2018

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis is sending the Church's top investigator on sexual abuse to Chile to look into allegations against a bishop accused of covering up clergy crimes against minors there, the Vatican said on Tuesday.

A statement said the envoy, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, was being dispatched after "new information" had emerged about Bishop Juan Barros of the Chilean city of Osorno.

Controversy over Barros, whom the pope has repeatedly defended, dominated Francis's recent trip to the South American country.

It was a remarkable turnaround for the pope, who just last week told reporters aboard the plane returning from Latin America that he was sure Barros was innocent and that the Vatican had received no concrete evidence against him.

Barros has been accused of protecting his former mentor, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, who was found guilty in a Vatican investigation in 2011 of abusing teenage boys over many years. Karadima denies the allegations, and Barros said he was unaware of any wrongdoing.

Scicluna doggedly uncovered evidence of sexual abuse against the late founder of the conservative religious order the Legionaries of Christ during the papacy of Benedict XVI and has a formidable reputation within the Church.

Catholic Church group fights Colorado bill to reform system of reporting child abuse

DENVER (CO)
The Denver Channel

January 29, 2018

By Robert Garrison

DENVER — Legislation that would reform a mandatory system of reporting child abuse in Colorado is not getting support from the Catholic Church.

Senate Bill 18-058 would extend the statute of limitations in cases where a person is required by law to report child abuse but fails to do so.

Currently, the statute of limitations for failing to report child abuse or neglect in Colorado is 18 months, which could result in dropped charges in the recent indictment against three Cherry Creek school leaders accused of hiding allegations made by a specific student in 2013.

The measure, sponsored by state lawmakers Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora) and Terri Carver (R-Colorado Springs), comes on the heels of the Cherry Creek case and indefinitely extends the period of time mandatory reporters could be prosecuted for not contacting authorities in child abuse cases.

A mandatory reporter is someone in a specific occupation that must report suspected child abuse. In Colorado, 40 categories of professions are covered under the law, including all public and private school employees.

An iconic rock on Michigan State's campus is covered with the names of Larry Nassar's victims

EAST LANSING (MI)
CNN

January 29, 2018

By Mercedes Leguizamon and Saeed Ahmed

(CNN)The boulder is known simply as "The Rock" and it's a fixture on the campus of Michigan State University.

It's a constantly changing billboard. Students leave everything from birthday greetings to political messages, one layer of paint at a time.

Since late last week, when doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 175 years for sexually abusing girls and young women for decades, the Rock has sported a powerful new look.

Students painted the boulder white, along with the words "THANK YOU" in teal, and a heart.

They also hand-painted the names of more than 150 women who accused Nassar of abusing them.

MSU critic faces allegation of inappropriate relationship from former student

EAST LANSING (MI)
Detroit Free Press

January 29, 2018

By Gina Kaufman and Jim Schaefer

Just days after Sue Carter resigned her position as chair of Michigan State University’s Athletic Council, in protest over the institution’s handling of its sexual abuse scandal, a former student has filed a complaint claiming Carter drew her into an inappropriate relationship more than two decades ago.

Ellen Fedon-Keyt, now a Dearborn psychologist, e-mailed the members of the athletic council on Saturday saying she was about 19 years old and an undergraduate student at Wayne State University when Carter, who was at one time her professor, befriended her and manipulated her into a sexual relationship that felt "wrong and distorted." Fedon-Keyt said this occurred around the time her father was killed in a plane crash — a period when shewas vulnerable.

Two members of the MSU Athletic Council — professor Martin Crimp and secretary Scott Westerman, executive director of the Alumni Association — confirmed over the weekend to the Free Press that the complaint was forwarded to the university’s Office of Institutional Equity. Fedon-Keyt, who spoke to the Free Press and agreed to let her name be published, said Monday an investigator from the office already has requested an interview with her.

Child sexual abuse: Pakistan breaks the silence

ASIA/PAKISTAN
Agenzia Fides

January 25, 2018

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - "Pakistan has finally broken a taboo, at least for now. This comes after the denunciation of sexual abuse, violence, rape and murder against thousands of minors. Here there is a culture of silence and shame which are deeply rooted", says to Agenzia Fides Fr. Mushtaq Anjum, a Pakistani Camillian missionary. "However - continues the priest - the recent case of young Zenaib Ansari, a girl from Kasur, in Punjab, has literally shocked the country. And in civil society, processions and demonstrations have multiplied to demand justice and to put an end to impunity".

Many famous Pakistani women took part in this campaign against child abuse, and shared their stories on social media using the hashtag #justiceforZainab. The other hashtag #MeToo raised the veil on many other cases of violence: actress Nadia Jamil revealed to have suffered sexual abuse for the first time when she was four years old. "I was told not to talk about it out of respect for the honor of my family, but now I am not ashamed for myself or for my children. I am a proud, strong, loving, survivor", said Jamil. Maheen Khan, a Pakistani high fashion designer, said she was abused by the mullah who came to teach her the Qur’an: "I froze in fear day after day".
Frieha Altaf, actress and model, wrote that she was sexually abused by the family cook from the tender age of 6 and added that "the only shame in these cases is keeping silent".

Fr. Mushtaq explains to Agenzia Fides: "Pakistani society protects honor at the expense of justice. Shame and humiliation prevent people from exposing themselves and denouncing these inhuman illnesses".

Sister posts bond for priest accused of having child porn after judge reduces bail

MASCOUTAH (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

January 29, 2018

By Dana Rieck

The sister of a Mascoutah priest accused of possessing child pornography posted his $25,000 bond Friday after a judge significantly reduced the man’s $2 million bail last week.

The Rev. Gerald Hechenberger, associate pastor of Holy Childhood Church in Mascoutah, was booked into jail Jan. 9 on 16 charges of child pornography and one charge of possession of methamphetamine.

January 29, 2018

Pope apologizes for comments, defends bishop

CHILE
Associated Press

January 26, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE — Pope Francis apologized for insisting that victims of pedophile priests show “proof” to be believed, saying he realized it was a “slap in the face” to victims that he never intended.

But he doubled down on defending a Chilean bishop accused by victims of covering up for the country’s most notorious pedophile priest, and he repeated that anyone who makes such accusations without providing evidence is guilty of slander.

Francis issued the partial mea culpa in an airborne press conference late Sunday as he returned home from Chile and Peru, where the clergy abuse scandal and his own comments plunged the Chilean church into renewed crisis and revived questions about whether Francis “gets it” about abuse.

Francis insisted that to date no one had provided him with evidence that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in keeping quiet about the perversions of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, the charismatic Chilean priest who was sanctioned by the Vatican in 2011 for molesting and fondling minors in his Santiago parish.

Flying home from the most contested trip of his papacy, Francis said Barros would remain bishop of Osorno, Chile as long as there’s no evidence implicating him in the cover-up.

“I can’t condemn him because I don’t have evidence,” Francis said. “But I’m also convinced that he’s innocent.”

Karadima was removed from ministry and sentenced by the Vatican in 2011 to a lifetime of penance and prayer based on the testimony of his victims, who said they were all molested by him in the swank parish he headed in the El Bosque area of Santiago. A Chilean judge also found the victims to be credible, saying that while she had to drop criminal charges against Karadima because too much time had passed, proof of his crimes wasn’t lacking.

Three of the victims testified before Chilean prosecutors and others have also said publicly for years that Barros, one of Karadima’s proteges, witnessed the abuse and did nothing to stop it.

Barros denies the accusations.

“The best thing is for those who believe this to bring the evidence forward,” Francis said. “In this moment I don’t think it’s this way, because I don’t have it, but I have an open heart to receive them.”

Juan Carlos Cruz, the most vocal of the accusers against Karadima and Barros who testified in court about the cover-up, responded with a statement to The Associated Press: “If he wanted evidence, why didn’t he reach out to us when we were willing to reaffirm the testimony that not only us, but so many witnesses, have been providing for more than 15 years?”

Catholic Bishop trying to stop the deportation of paedophile priest Finian Egan

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
Herald Sun

January 28, 2018

By Keith Moor

TWO senior Catholics joined forces to try to save paedophile priest Finian Egan from deportation to Ireland.

Egan, 83, convicted of raping a child and molesting two other young girls, was freed last month after serving half of an eight-year jail term.

But a 2016 decision by then immigration minister Peter Dutton to cancel Egan’s Australian citizenship was recently overturned by Administrative Appeals Tribunal deputy president Justice Janine Stevenson, who ruled that “the correct and preferable decision” was to allow Egan to retain his citizenship.

Mr Dutton, now the Home Affairs Minister, is lodging a Federal Court appeal against that ruling.

Justice Stevenson said Egan had been offered support by Bishop Peter Comensoli and Father Vincent Casey, and this church support and supervision of Egan and “consequently, the existence of mechanisms for the protection of children” had been “a significant consideration” in her decision.

One of Egan’s victims, Kellie Roche, told the Herald Sun on Sunday she was outraged the church had stepped in to try to stop Egan’s deportation.

“The Catholic Church in Australia has a very good record of covering up the activities of paedophile priests but a very poor record of protecting children from them. So why would you have any faith in it being able to stop Egan offending again?” she said.

“He should be deported so no more Australian children are in danger from him.”

In a submission to the AAT, Bishop Comensoli wrote that the risk of reoffending increased when a person was isolated, and that if Egan were returned to Ireland “he would be very isolated”.

“I can retain some supervisory control over his whereabouts and living circum-stances. However if (he) were returned to Ireland, the diocese (of Broken Bay, in NSW) would not be able to supervise him in any way,” he wrote.

Fr Casey, who described Egan as his “friend and mentor”, wrote in his submission that he believed “children would be safer” if Egan were allowed to remain in Australia.

“Here he would be living in a secure location decided by the bishop … under the bishop’s supervision and with people around him who know him and his story. In Ireland he would be anonymous, isolated, sick, and with no supervision.”

Mr Dutton told the Herald Sun his decision to cancel Egan’s citizenship had been the right thing to do.

“Our first responsibility is to protect children,” he said.

“Sexually brutalising a child is the most heinous act a person of trust can commit.”

Bishop Gerard Hanna: The bishop, the priest, and the sins of omission

GRIFFITH (NSW, AUSTRALIA)
The Area News

January 29, 2018

By Farrah Tomazin

On a winter evening in 2016, dozens of churchgoers gathered at a local primary school in the NSW Riverina to bid farewell to the town's most-senior religious figure.

Gerard Hanna had been the bishop of Wagga for 14 years, a servant of God who led a diocese of 66,000 Catholics in 31 parishes.

But here, in the refurbished sports stadium at Henschke Primary School, Bishop Hanna was set to step down sooner than expected, citing "continuous ill health" as the reason for his early retirement.

It was about two weeks before he was due to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

As the tributes flowed, few in the room would have known that this church leader was harbouring a secret.

Decades earlier, while working as the administrator of a parish in Tamworth East, Hanna had been embroiled in a cover-up involving John Joseph Farrell – the notorious paedophile now serving a maximum 29-year jail term for a decade-long reign of abuse against children. At least two of those victims ended up taking their own lives.

Hanna accepted the priest into his parish after he was kicked out of another, used church money to help pay for his legal defence, and turned a blind eye to what Farrell was: a dangerous predator.

First Larry Nassar Accuser Says Going Public Cost Her Friends, Her Church and 'Every Shred of Privacy'

UNITED STATES
TIME Magazine

January 26, 2018

By Samantha Cooney

Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse disgraced USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse, said that coming forward with her allegations cost her friends, her church and “every shred of privacy.”

In a New York Times op-ed published on Jan. 26, Denhollander wrote that “absolutely nothing could have prepared me for the pain of being the first to go public with my accusations.” The Indianapolis Star first reported allegations against Nassar made by Denhollander and an unnamed woman in September 2016. Denhollander, a former club gymnast, said that she began seeing Nassar when she was 15 after sustaining a back injury.

Since the story was published, over 150 women — including Olympians Aly Raisman, Simone Biles and McKayla Maroney — have said they were also abused by Nassar. On Jan. 24, Nassar was sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in prison.

In her op-ed, Denhollander, now an attorney, detailed how difficult it was to come forward. She said she sometimes avoided grocery stores so her children wouldn’t have to see her allegations on newspapers and was asked questions “about things no one should know when I least wanted to talk.”

“Yet all of it served as a reminder: These were the very cultural dynamics that had allowed Larry Nassar to remain in power,” she wrote. “I knew that the farthest I could run from my abuser, and the people that let him prey on children for decades, was to choose the opposite of what that man, and his enablers, had become. To choose to find and speak the truth, no matter what it cost.”

In order to protect other women, Denhollander said we need to hold institutions that enable abusers accountable and support and encourage victims to speak out.

Church offering program for survivors of childhood sexual abuse

SEYMOUR (IN)
Seymour Tribune

January 29, 2018

A 12-week study for adult women who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse is being offered by Central Christian Church in Seymour.

The program from Survivors of Abuse Restored is entitled “Shelter from the Storm: Hope for Survivors of Sexual Abuse.”

There will be open sessions the next few Thursdays to allow women to come check the group out, ask questions and learn about a topic that relates to what they are going through.

Women who would benefit from this support group are asked to contact Robin Everhart at 812-521-1122 or robin@centralseymour.org for meeting times, location and details.

Four men allege sex abuse by NM priests

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Albuquerque Journal

January 28, 2018

By Katy Barnitz

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In lawsuits filed this month against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, four more men allege that they were sexually abused as children by priests in New Mexico.
The suits, filed in state District Court in Albuquerque, name two priests as perpetrators: Sabine Griego and the late Wilfred Bombardier.

Both men were included on a list released by Archbishop John C. Wester of clergy who have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse. Griego, who was removed from the priesthood in 2005, still lives in northern New Mexico. He could not be reached for comment.

Celine Radigan, spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said she could not comment on pending lawsuits. But she said the archdiocese prays “for all who have been victims of the sad reality of sexual abuse.”

The complaints are the latest of approximately 74 lawsuits filed by attorneys Brad Hall and Levi Monagle in recent years. Monagle said roughly two-thirds of those lawsuits have been settled.

Three of the latest group of plaintiffs were abused as altar boys, while the fourth was abused while he was being recruited to serve as an altar boy, according to the lawsuits.

Dianne Williamson: Some lessons still to learn for church

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

January 27, 2018

By Dianne Williamson

For 25 years, Peter Inzerillo has been quietly directing a community chorale of “high-quality music” in Leominster. In the mid-’90s, however, he was singing a different tune.

Back then, as the Rev. Peter, he was busy denying claims that he sexually abused a 19-year-old teen who had turned to him for help after being abused by another priest. Those denials would ring false, however, when in 1999 the diocese paid Inzerillo’s accuser $300,000, one of the largest settlements reached by the Diocese of Worcester, which then promptly reassigned the disgraced priest to another parish.

When I learned last week that Peter Inzerillo had finally been defrocked, more than two decades after his alleged acts opened a window to the church’s systemic failure to shield children from abuse, I was flooded by memories of a church that for decades had covered up the grave crimes committed by its priests. I was also filled with admiration for the brave people who confronted the church years before it was acceptable to do so, years before The Boston Globe’s Spotlight series blew the scandal wide open, back when victims were at the mercy of strident church lawyers and doubtful, defensive Catholics.

One of those victims was Ed Gagne, a soft-spoken Spencer man who aspired to the priesthood himself when he met Peter Inzerillo, then the diocese’s vocational director. He told the priest he had been abused six years earlier by another priest, and Inzerillo offered to counsel him.

Opinion: Pope Francis' blind spot on sexual abuse

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

January 25, 2018

By Thomas Reese

The overwhelming consensus in the media is that Pope Francis has a blind spot when it comes to sexual abuse.

He may be on the side of refugees, migrants, the sick, the poor, the indigenous and other marginalized peoples, but he just doesn't get it when it comes to victims of abuse.

The evidence for this assertion is the pope's unwavering support for Juan Barros, whom he appointed bishop of Osorno, Chile, despite accusations from victims that he witnessed and covered up abuse by the Fr. Fernando Karadima, the charismatic priest who in 2011 was found guilty by the Vatican of abusing minors in his upscale Santiago parish.

In a leaked letter to the Chilean bishops, Francis defended his January 2015 appointment of Barros to Osorno. Francis acknowledged that the Vatican was so concerned about the crisis in Chile that it planned to ask Barros, who was the bishop for the military, and two other bishops to resign and take a sabbatical. Despite these concerns, Francis appointed Barros anyway.

Francis' defense of Barros has been excessive, accusing his detractors of calumny and being leftist agitators. He said he would not believe the accusations until he was given proof.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley publicly corrected the pope's words:

"It is understandable that Pope Francis' statements yesterday in Santiago, Chile, were a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy or any other perpetrator. Words that convey the message "if you cannot prove your claims then you will not be believed" abandon those who have suffered reprehensible criminal violations of their human dignity and relegate survivors to discredited exile."

Francis accepted O'Malley's criticism and apologized for saying the victims need to show "proof" to be believed. But he continued to say that anyone who made accusations against the bishop without providing evidence was guilty of slander.

"I can't condemn him because I don't have evidence," Francis said. "But I'm also convinced that he's innocent."

Opinion: Catholics’ faith in Francis is misplaced

UNITED STATES
The Boston Globe

January 29, 2018

By Margery Eagan

HERE’S A SAFE BET: Even if a day arrives when the Catholic Church is pure, none of us will live to see it. So maybe Catholics should stop looking for saints among its leaders.

On Jan. 18, Francis took a sledgehammer to millions who’d misplaced saintly hope in him. He went to Chile and called priestly sex abuse survivors liars.

What happened?

This was the Francis who ditched the papal apartment, rode around in a tiny Fiat, kissed prisoners’ feet, focused on the poor, refugees, the planet, forgiveness, mercy — not the typical Catholic focus on anything to do with sex.

Wowed, we talked of “The Francis Effect.” Jaded Catholics returned to Mass, risking uninspired preaching because, well, Francis inspired. Plus, to paraphrase Hebrews, there is ever that yearning to find proof of things unseen.

There had long been signs that Francis didn’t really “get” the sex abuse mess. But nothing confirmed it like Chile, when he said he needed proof that Bishop Juan Barros had covered up crimes. Otherwise, multiple survivors’ claims were “calumny.”

For Americans, the timing was ghastly: in the midst of the #MeToo moment and of 156 gymnasts detailing in court gross abuse by a trusted physician. At least one was only six when her horror began. So was the little boy whom priest Paul Shanley, protected by Cardinal Bernard Law, repeatedly plucked from Sunday school to take to a bathroom and then rape.

So we are back to the dark days, asking, again, how to remain a Catholic?

Editorial: Pope Francis missteps

UNITED STATES
Toledo Blade

January 29, 2018

Revelation upon revelation of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests, and cover ups by bishops, has crippled faith in the Catholic Church over the last two decades. Since the start of his tenure in 2013, Pope Francis has labored to address this great sin, this stain upon the Roman Catholic church, and restore faith in the institution.

But on on a recent trip to Chile, the Pope lost both focus and credibility. He said that he was “pained and ashamed” by the conduct of priests who sexually abused children in the country. And yet, the Pope refused to meet with victims of these crimes and even accused victims of slandering a bishop who allegedly turned a blind eye to the behavior of Chile’s most infamous abuser.

After his comments drew sharp criticism from around the globe, the Pope issued an apology. But even his apology was couched in a defense of the bishop.

January 28, 2018

Foss: Too many people enabled Larry Nassar's abuse

UNITED STATES
Daily Gazette (Schenectady NY)

January 27, 2018

By Sara Foss

Case is disgustingly similar to pedophilia scandals that rocked Catholic Church, Penn State

I didn't make any New Year's resolutions this year.

For whatever reason, Jan. 1 came and went without a lot of introspection on my part — without any real consideration of my goals and hopes for the next 12 months.

Of course, it's possible to make a resolution at any time of year, and that's what I found myself doing last week while reading one horrifying story after another about Larry Nassar, the former team doctor for USA Gymnastics and sports medicine physician at Michigan State University.

Nassar, we now know, sexually abused more than 150 young athletes in his care.

That's appalling, but what really gets my blood boiling are the ongoing revelations about all the people who turned a blind eye to Nassar's predatory behavior.

If not for powerful enablers, it's unlikely Nassar's regime of terror would have lasted so long. Unfortunately, too many people decided protecting the institutions they served was more important than responding to credible complaints of abuse from powerless girls.

Opinion: Roll on, presses, roll on

UNITED STATES
Concord Monitor (NH)

January 28, 2018

By Katy Burns

In the end it’s all about the power of the press. Or, literally, the power of the presses. They’ve been the stars of two recent critically acclaimed newspaper movies. Along with, of course, the wonderful First Amendment.

One of the final – and triumphant – moments in The Post, the current Stephen Spielberg film dramatizing the 1971 publication by the Washington Post of the Pentagon Papers, is when the newspaper’s history-making exposé is set in hot type and the powerful stories-high presses rumble to life.

A similar scene was a climactic high point at the end of Spotlight, the 2015 movie celebrating the Boston Globe’s revelatory 2003 series chronicling the clerical sexual abuse of children presided over by the Boston Roman Catholic archdiocese.

In both films, bundles of freshly printed newspapers are swiftly loaded onto trucks and delivered throughout the respective cities. In both films, truth triumphed over those who would stifle it.

Editorial: Government's proposed abuse inquiry doesn't go far enough

NEW ZEALAND
The Press [Wellington, New Zealand]

January 29, 2018


The Catholic Church in New Zealand and abuse survivors are upset the goverment may not be expanding an inquiry into abuse of children in state care to include faith-based institutions.

It is disappointing that a government inquiry into past abuse of children will be limited to those cases which originated in state care. An opportunity to address systemic abuse in non-government institutions, and particularly religious organisations, is likely to be lost.

The inquiry is one of the Government's pledges for its first 100 days in office and will be announced shortly. However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has already said that inquiries will begin with "the harm that we (the State) had direct responsibility for".

Victims' groups have called on the Government to follow Australia's example and include non-governmental organisations such as churches, charities, community groups and sports clubs in the inquiry. For now, at least, the Government appears to be ruling this out.

Ardern has said that the independent chair of the inquiry will have a remit to investigate beyond state institutions, but suggested this would happen when a child had been placed with other organisations as a result of decisions made in state care.

Homosexual Ex-Bishop Declared Innocent Of Sex Crimes

CHILE
The Daily Caller

January 27, 2018

By Joshua Gill

A Chilean court declared Friday that a former bishop who had a homosexual relationship with an altar boy was innocent of committing sexual abuse.

The appeals court concluded that there was no evidence that Rev. Marco Antonio Ordenes Fernandez, formerly the bishop of Iquique, abused his eventual lover when the boy was underage, according to the Associated Press. Ordenes admitted to committing an “imprudent act” with the boy, and Pope Benedict XVI accepted his resignation from the position of bishop in 2012.

Rodrigo Pino, Ordenes’ lover, alleged that the then-bishop forced him into sexual acts when he was 15 and served as an altar boy, but that he and Ordenes later developed a consensual relationship. Ordenes, in contrast, asserted that he met the boy in 1999 when he was 17 and that while did engage in a homosexual relationship, the boy was no longer underage at that point.

Actress Tina Alexis Allen uncovers life of lies, childhood abuse in memoir

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Daily News

January 28, 2018

By Jacqueline Cutler

Tina Alexis Allen was good at keeping secrets.

The older brothers who molested her, starting when she was 9? She wouldn’t tell. The teacher who took over a couple of years later? Something else to keep locked away.

Perhaps it was a family trait. After all, no one kept secrets better than her father —until he started sharing them with her.

Allen earned an MBA in marketing and worked in fashion until opting for a career in acting. She appeared on television in “Outsiders” and films such as “Moving Mountains,” and starred in her own one-woman stage show, “Secrets of a Holy Father.”

Her book “Hiding Out: A Memoir of Drugs, Deception, and Double Lives” hits stores Feb. 22, exposing the long-hidden tale of a tumultuous youth in which her desperately damaged family life turned ever darker.

Allen grew up in Chevy Chase, Md., the youngest of 13 children born to a conservative Catholic family. She was a great athlete, earning a gold medal for basketball in the U.S. Youth Games at age 12.

It seemed like an idyllic suburban childhood as her travel agent father peddled pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

Yet as an 11-year-old Catholic schoolgirl, she had her first liaison — with a teacher. For three years, she and the female teacher 15 years her senior “were having sex on Saturdays while the rest of Chevy Chase was pruning azalea bushes around their stately homes or attending Georgetown Prep lacrosse games.”

Interview with Spotlight's Michael Rezendes

JAIPUR (INDIA)
Financial Express

January 28, 2018

By Smitha Verma

“At a time when power regimes have become hostile to the media and when a vast section of the public which consumes media has become sceptical of it, the onus comes on news organisations to tell the truth,” feels Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Michael Rezendes, who, as part of The Boston Globe’s ‘Spotlight’ team, uncovered sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic church. The story also inspired the Oscar-winning film Spotlight.

In Jaipur for the ongoing literature festival, he urged big media organisations to spend money and resources on investigative journalism, saying they can “take risks and defend themselves”.

“Big media houses have a special responsibility, which is questioning the government, large corporations and all other organisations that play an important role in society,” he told FE in an interview.

Commenting on US President Donald Trump’s stance against the media, he said, “Trump has inspired investigative reporters all over America to do their best work. He has picked up a fight of his life. But my concern is when his peers in other parts of the world, like Turkey or Cambodia, feel it’s an open season and start putting journalists in jail or shutting media houses. Trump’s anti-media effect is having a more pernicious effect overseas.”

Diocese lacks transparency in finances, report says

FORT WAYNE (IN)
The Journal Gazette

January 28, 2018

By Rosa Salter Rodriguez

'More susceptible' to fraud

A new study of the finances of America's Roman Catholic dioceses finds that, when it comes to openness, the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend lands in the bottom half of the ecclesiastical units.

The ranking, the study's authors say, should be “certainly cause for concern” by people in the pews, according to “Measuring and Ranking Diocesan Online Financial Transparency” done by Voice of the Faithful, a laity-led church reform group.

“Absent clear and accessible financial reports ... the donated funds are more susceptible to fraudulent diversions,” the study concludes. “Every Catholic shares in the responsibility to ensure that funds donated for church work actually go toward those purposes.”

But a spokeswoman for the local diocese said the study's concerns may be misplaced because of steps the diocese takes to provide financial information to members.

Conducted last summer and published last month, the study comes at a time when the handling of finances by churches is under increased scrutiny from those within and outside sanctuary walls.

Prompting concern are reports of embezzlement and lavish lifestyles by leaders and changing expectations about openness from church members, according to The Church Transparency Project website at www.churchtransparency.org.

Meet the 71-year-old Catholic priest who wants his church to repeal the celibacy rule

SCOTLAND
The Sunday Herald

January 27, 2018

By Peter Swindon

A controversial Catholic priest has claimed the vow of celibacy is one of the causes of clerical child abuse and called on the church to repeal the ancient law.

Father Tony Flannery will deliver a lecture at the University of Edinburgh next month entitled “Celibacy, sexuality and the crisis in the priesthood” when he will also demand the ordination of women.

The Catholic Church forbids women from joining the priesthood and men who are ordained must promise not to have sex, a rule which Flannery claims is deterring young men.

Chile controversy contrasts with image of Pope Francis as a leveler

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

January 23, 2018

by Ken Briggs

Pope Francis is suddenly in the midst of a crisis that could damage his papacy irreparably. It swirls around his handling of an issue millions of his admirers believed he was especially equipped to resolve — clergy sex abuse. His personal touch, marked by modesty, candor, compassion, social justice and humor raised hopes that he could stanch the scandalous bleeding. Such optimism arguably became decisive in his election to the papacy.

But that potential is being questioned by his testy reactions this past week to criticism that Bishop Juan Barros, a Chilean bishop he appointed in 2015, had covered up many sexual crimes by a high-profile priest, Fr. Fernando Karadima, a close associate of Barros'. The Vatican found Karadima guilty in 2011.

Francis' open, charming demeanor faded as he angrily chided critics, including those claiming to have been victims of the priest, who contend Barros buried evidence.

Francis bluntly dismissed that charge as hollow "slander."

"It is calumny," he snapped. "Is that clear?" Denying any evidence against the bishop, he added, "The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I will speak."

Inside the Trial of Former Priest Charged with 1960 Murder of Texas Schoolteacher

McALLEN (TX)
48 Hours - CBS News

January 27, 2018

Produced by Lourdes Aguiar, Josh Gaynor and Ruth Chenetz

[Includes links to videos]

After 57 years, a former priest is on trial for murdering a young woman who had gone to him for confession -- did the church conspire with authorities to cover it up?

It was April 1960 in McAllen, Texas, when Irene Garza, 25, told her family she was going to church for confession. She never returned. Five days later, her body was found dumped in a canal. Police say she was beaten, sexually assaulted and suffocated. Investigators kept turning to one person – Father John Feit, then 27, who admitted hearing Garza's last confession in the church rectory. Investigators grew more suspicious when they learned that three weeks before Irene's murder, another young woman had been attacked in a nearby church. That woman later identified Feit as her attacker.

Feit would eventually plead no contest to aggravated assault in that case and was fined $500, but the investigation in the Irene Garza murder eventually stopped and the case went cold. For decades, rumors swirled that there had been a conspiracy between the authorities and the Church to cover up the crime. The case was reopened in 2002 when the McAllen Police Department asked the Texas Rangers' cold case unit to re-examine the murder. The investigation took a turn when a former monk, Dale Tacheny, told police that back in 1963 when he was counseling novice monks at a monastery, Feit had admitted to killing a young woman on Easter weekend. Another priest also came forward saying Feit had made a similar admission to him as well. Yet the former district attorney at the time, Rene Guerra, didn't find the new witnesses credible and the case would go nowhere. Irene Garza's family felt they had been denied justice again. In 2014, when confronted by "48Hours" about the allegations, Feit told "48 Hours" correspondent Richard Schlesinger he didn't kill Garza and did not know who did.

Shortly after "The Last Confession" --"48 Hours"' first broadcast on the case -- aired 2014, a new district attorney was elected who promised to look into the case. On Feb. 9, 2016, Feit was arrested in Scottsdale, Ariz. and charged with murder.

January 27, 2018

Opinion: Larry Nassar Is a Familiar Monster

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

January 27, 2018

By Frank Bruni

When Judge Rosemarie Aquilina handed down her sentence on Larry Nassar last week, she spoke to and of him as a kind of monster we rarely see. She was wrong.

I know this because I remember Penn State, where an assistant football coach named Jerry Sandusky worked his way through boy after boy across year after year.

I know this because I haven’t forgotten what happened in the Boy Scouts of America decades ago.

And I know this from the extensive time that I once spent studying and even interviewing men who, like Nassar, were serial child molesters, except that none of them had the lofty title — “Dr.” — that he did.

No, they had loftier ones.

The honorific “Rev.” came before their written names. People addressed them as “Father.” They were Roman Catholic priests.

In researching and publishing a book about them, I learned a great deal about child sexual abuse — enough to recognize that as horrifying as Nassar’s violation of young female athletes was, he and his crime spree weren’t anomalous. They snugly fit a pattern. And taking full and proper note of that is the best way — the only way — to protect children from the other Nassars out there.

Chile court clears ex-Catholic bishop of sex crime charges

CHILE
Santiago Times

January 27, 2018

A Chilean appeals court has ratified the dismissal of sex crime charges against a former Roman Catholic bishop, a week after Pope Francis visited the Latin American nation.

The court ruled Friday there wasn’t enough evidence against the Rev. Marco Antonio Ordenes Fernandez, who resigned as bishop of Iquique in 2012 while under Vatican investigation.

Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Ordenes as the church investigated the allegations against him.

He was accused of abusing an altar boy and acknowledged “an imprudent act,” but said the youth was 17 when they met and that their relationship began when the man was no longer underage.

His accuser said the abuse began when he was 15. He said at first it was forced, but they later became lovers.

WHY THE CATHOLIC CHURCH NEEDS A #METOO MOMENT

UNITED STATES
World Religion News

By Corey Barnett

January 27, 2018

The recent news that Casey Affleck has withdrawn as an Academy Awards presenter over accusations that he has engaged in sexual violence is yet another example of the power of #metoo movement. The movement has been called a “silence breaker” and was awarded the 2017 TIME Magazine Person of the Year.

As we see the changes the campaign has brought to the entertainment and business industry we should be looking to religion as the next social institute that needs to reflect and modify their stance in order to espouse the morality that is dictated in their theology.

The Catholic Church began to take measures in 2002 as a reaction to the global scandals that were occurring because of widespread abuse and subsequent cover-up of perpetrators. Dialogue and openness were promoted, including the creation of the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” to give clear guidelines to parishes and officials.

Yet that is not enough. Pope Francis recently visited South America, where he did not speak out about the appointment of a bishop who had close ties to a famous abuser. He also implied that the accusers could be lying before a large-scale backlash possibility caused him to change his stance and ask for forgiveness.

But the Catholic Church needs to be more consistent. There are two levels of the potential of abuse in the Catholic Church. First, is the well-documented history of abuse, mostly toward younger people, that have been conducted by priests and church officials. Instead of asking forgiveness, the Catholic Church should be excommunicating anyone that has been found to be guilty of sexual abuse. This sends a clear message. Abusing the body made in God’s image is like an abuse on God Himself and will not be tolerated.

Southern Baptist Convention Added to Sexual Abuse Suit Against Former Judge Paul Pressler

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

January 26, 2018

By Leonardo Blair

The Southern Baptist Convention has been added as a defendant in a lawsuit alleging that former Texas state judge and lawmaker Paul Pressler sexually abused a former Bible study student he hired as a home office assistant for decades, starting when he was just 14 years old.

The 15-million member organization was added to the lawsuit on Jan. 12 after it was initially filed in a Texas court on Oct. 18, according to the Tennessean.

Gareld D. Rollins Jr., the plaintiff who is now in his 50s, accuses the SBC and seven other defendants, including Pressler and his wife, Nancy, of fraudulently misrepresenting to the public "that Pressler was a Godlike, sexually safe, moral, and great person of the earth who, as a magistrate, worked God's wisdom and thus would not be sexually dangerous to minors."

The lawsuit also names the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, its president, Paige Patterson, and Houston's First Baptist Church as defendants, alleging they are liable for their professional, personal or denominational connections with Pressler.

The bishop, the priest, and the sins of omission

AUSTRALIA
The Age

January 28, 2018

By Farrah Tomazin

On a Winter evening in 2016, dozens of churchgoers gathered at a local primary school in the NSW Riverina to bid farewell to the town's most-senior religious figure.

Gerard Hanna had been the bishop of Wagga Wagga for 14 years, a servant of God who led a diocese of 66,000 Catholics in 31 parishes.

But here, in the refurbished sports stadium at Henschke Primary School, Bishop Hanna was set to step down sooner than expected, citing "continuous ill health" as the reason for his early retirement.

It was about two weeks before he was due to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

As the tributes flowed, few in the room would have known that this church leader was harbouring a secret.

Decades earlier, while working as the administrator of a parish in Tamworth East, Hanna had been embroiled in a cover-up involving John Joseph Farrell – the notorious paedophile now serving a maximum 29-year jail term for a decade-long reign of abuse against children. At least two of those victims ended up taking their own lives.

Editorial: Church Must Keep Clergy Sex-Abuse Reforms on Track

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

January 26, 2018

EDITORIAL: What is needed is a sensitive, transparent and systematic response to credible allegations.

Pope Francis’ pledge to protect the Church from sexual predators and hold negligent bishops accountable rightly earned him praise early in his pontificate. He inherited a foundation of reforms first crafted under Pope Benedict XVI, including the Church’s stern zero-tolerance policy against abusers, clear legal processes for handling abuse cases, and a powerful willingness to meet with victims around the world.

But recent events suggest that Francis is on a steep learning curve in furthering these efforts. Victims’ advocates have been alarmed by his failure to secure his own reform initiatives, including a proposed tribunal for bishops accused of abuse or negligence that was scrapped in 2017. Critics have also pointed to the Pope’s decision to intervene in some high-profile cases and his inconsistent response to Church leaders accused of covering up abuse.

In January, public scrutiny of the Pope’s handling of abuse cases came to a head during his apostolic visit to Chile. On the eve of his arrival, a 2015 papal letter to the Chilean bishops’ conference was leaked to the media.

Former Catholic priest who served parishes in Fitchburg and Leominster is defrocked by Pope Francis

WORCESTER (MA)
Fitchburg (MA) Sentinel & Enterprise

January 27, 2018

A former priest who served Catholic Churches in Fitchburg and Leominster in the late 1990s and early 2000s and accused of sexually abusing a teenager in 1993 has been laicized, or defrocked, according to the diocese.

It was announced by diocese Bishop Robert J. McManus that Peter J. Inzerillo had been defrocked on Thursday at his request.

Inzerillo, according to the diocese, was "dispensed" from the clerical state by Pope Francis and as a result he cannot function in any capacity as a priest or be referred to as a priest or as a "Father" in writing in any announcements or obituaries.

"It is my fervent prayer that Christ may bring healing and hope to anyone who has been abused by a priest or by anyone in the Catholic Church," said Bishop McManus.

Inzerillo, now 74, was vocational director for the diocese until 1994 -- beginning in 1983 -- when a decade-old allegation made by Spencer man led to the diocese temporarily suspending him from his duties as priest.

The Spencer man, who was 19-years-old at the time, said Inzerillo took advantage of him and abused him in the mid-1990s when he was a 13-year-old altar boy and filed a lawsuit in 1999 that was settled out of court for $300,000.

As Sicily abuse trial nears, it’s a case of whom to believe

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

January 24, 2018

By Claire Giangravè

Pope Francis faced no small amount of blowback in Chile last week over a sexual abuse controversy that boils down to whom you chose to believe - victims of a pedophile priest accusing a bishop of knowing about the abuse and covering it up, or the bishop himself, who’s vigorously denied those charges.

The pope made it as clear as possible that he believes the bishop, which has, in turn, infuriated the accusers and sparked wide commentary around the world.

Now there’s another “Who do you believe?” dilemma waiting for him in his own back yard, in the Southern Italian region of Sicily, as another high-profile sexual abuse case heads to trial.

The drama pivots on the charismatic lay leader of the Catholic Culture and Environment Association (ACCA), Piero Alfio Capuana - called ‘Archangel’ by the group’s members - who was arrested in early August of last year for the sexual abuse of at least six underage girls and possibly more over the span of 25 years.

The group is listed as a ‘civil association’ and has up to 5,000 followers, who still meet in the little-known municipality of Aci Bonacorsi, located inside the Diocese of Acireale on the Italian island of Sicily.

Editorial: Sexual abuse claims must be acted upon

UNITED STATES
The Copper Era (Greenlee County AZ)

January 23, 2018

We’re big, big fans of Pope Francis.

We love the fact that the pope condemns those who would turn away the poor and those in need in order to bolster profits, saying such an act is not Christian.

He’s been critical of the actions of the church, saying the church, in recent years, wasn’t following the teachings of Christ, specifically Christ’s commandments to love one another without caveat (yes, that means having respect for the LGBTQ community).

He has eschewed much of the glitz that goes along with the job of pontiff, opting to live in plain, almost barren quarters.

In other words, he doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk. And that’s why we like him.

He was on his home continent of South America last week and, once again, did something we really like — he apologized for the child abuse scandal that rocked the church in the ‘90s and 2000s.

Op-Ed: The Price I Paid for Taking On Larry Nassar

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

January 26, 2018

By Rachel Denhollander

On Jan. 16, women and girls from across the country began congregating in a courtroom in Lansing, Mich. Some of us were athletes; some of us were not. Some of us were white; some of us were black. Some of us were married; some of us were still in high school. Many of us had never met.

But we shared one core, unifying experience: sexual assault at the hands of Larry Nassar. And we had one core, unifying goal: facing our abuser and confronting the culture that allowed him to prey on us without fear or punishment.

It felt surreal at first — finally putting names and faces to the numbered “Jane Doe” designations I had wanted for so long to protect. But the pain we shared knit us together instantly. We knew what to do when someone began to weep or shake in court, because each of us had cried those tears before. We knew what to say when a grieving survivor expressed guilt or doubt, because we had experienced that same shame.

Editorial: Sexual abuse, sports and a betrayal of trust

UNITED STATES
Newsday

January 27, 2018

By the Editorial Board

The voices of the women abused for two decades by Larry Nassar should force all of us to ask and answer: At what price success? At what cost silence?

The latest chapter in the nation’s overdue examination of the abusive power and control men exercise over women came to a conclusion in a Michigan courtroom last week when former U.S. women’s gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison.

The repudiation of his repulsive behavior followed harrowing accounts by more than 150 girls and women who were sexually abused by Nassar. But putting Nassar away for the rest of his life, however satisfying, does not solve this festering problem.

It’s not just Nassar, it’s not just gymnastics, and it’s not just sports.

Sexual abuse scandals have shaken the arts, the media, government, business, the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts. But the problem in sports is particularly instructive.

Nearly 300 coaches and officials associated with the organizations that govern Olympic sports have been publicly accused of sex crimes since the early 1980s. More than 175 individuals have been convicted. More cases have likely gone unreported.

Child safety center says Pope's 'failure' in Chile also an opportunity

VATICAN CITY
Crux

January 27, 2018

A writer for a Rome-based center with close Vatican ties said Saturday that Pope Francis’s “infelicitous” words on the Church’s sexual abuse scandals in Chile amounted to a “failure,” by “inflicting an unintended wound” on victims, and may raise the hard question, “Is there hope for real change in the Church?”

“As hard as it is to acknowledge, it seems inevitable that those from whom we expect more will sometimes fail us,” wrote Sara Boehk, a member of the research team at the Centre for Child Protection, located at Rome’s Jesuit-run Gregorian University.

“In the face of disheartening news, how can we move forward?” she asked in a brief post on the centre’s web site. “How can we work for institutional change?”

Her answer was that in failure lies opportunity.

“Failure is also an opportunity to reassess where we are in our safeguarding efforts, to re-focus our energies, and to recommit to our goals,” Boehk wrote. “The alternative is to abandon hope and give up.”

Opinion: In Church, Confessing To Sexual Abuse Can Win You A Standing Ovation

UNITED STATES
HuffPost

January 27, 2018

By Neil J. Young

The congregation at Highpoint Church gave pastor Andy Savage a standing ovation after he confessed to a “sexual incident” with a member of the church where he worked in 1998.

On a Sunday morning earlier this month, Andy Savage, a pastor on staff at an evangelical megachurch in Memphis, confessed to the congregation that back in 1998, as a 21-year-old man, he had been involved in a “sexual incident” with a 17-year-old young woman. Savage had met the teenager when he was in college and serving as an intern at a Baptist church near Houston. After offering her a ride home from a youth group event at church one evening, Savage parked his car in the dark woods near her home and sexually assaulted her.

Given our current #MeToo moment and also the usually strong prohibitions evangelicals hold against unwed sexual activity, Savage might have feared harsh judgment for his admission that Sunday morning. Instead, the congregation at Highpoint Church gave their pastor a long standing ovation.

Opinion: On one issue in particular, Pope Francis is far from infallible

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

January 27, 2018

By Michael Coren

Columnist and broadcaster Michael Coren's most recent book is Epiphany: A Christian's Change of Heart & Mind Over Same-Sex Marriage.

We are living in the age of the Teflon Pope. Francis has many positive qualities and has said and done wonderful things, but he also has caused pain and concern more times than we might think. Yet on each occasion, he seems to escape almost unscathed. Whereas media loathed Benedict, they positively adore his successor. But now, perhaps, he has gone too far.

Francis was in Chile last week, where the clergy sex-abuse crisis has – as in so many places – ripped through the nation's religious sensibilities. It's made worse, however, due to still-open wounds concerning the Pinochet dictatorship and the part played in those dark days by the extraordinarily powerful Roman Catholic Church. The general view is that the church didn't do enough to oppose the dictatorship and that some clerics were positively supportive.

Attorneys for Catholic church abuse victims say diocese has funds for settlement

BILLINGS (MT)
Billings Gazette

January 27, 2018

By Rob Rogers

[See also: Lawsuit: More of a Montana Catholic diocese's assets should be on the table for abuse victims, Billings Gazette, December 20, 2017]

The attorneys representing the Montana victims of sex abuse by Catholic priests say more money exists for settlements after the Great Falls-Billings Diocese declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy last March.

In December, the victims group alleged that $70 million in Catholic real estate assets and an additional $16 million in funds transferred out of the Great Falls-Billings Diocese should be considered fair game for victims' settlements.

In a move to streamline the complaints, the judge overseeing the case ordered the victims group to separate out the two claims. The judge will now make one ruling on the whether the $70 million is available and a separate ruling on whether the $16 million is also fair game.

In a recent supplemental filing, attorneys for the victims group made their argument for the $16 million.

In their claim, the attorneys argue the diocese transferred more than $16 million in assets from its deposit and loan fund to an entity known as the Capital Assets Support Corp. The attorneys alleged in their court filing that the funds transfer was an attempt by the diocese to "hinder, delay or defraud" its creditor

Priest pleads guilty to sexual assault of Minnesota woman during private mass

DAKOTA COUNTY (MN)
KMSP-TV (Fox 9)

January 24, 2018

A Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct for an incident involving a Mendota Heights woman in the summer of 2010.

According to the charges, the woman came forward in 2016 to report she had sexual contact with Jacob Andrew Bertrand during a private mass held at her home in Mendota Heights. After the act, he told her they had “fulfilled the second holiest sacrifice next to Jesus and Mary on Calvary.”

Bertrand is currently on leave from the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, California.

Priest pleads guilty to sexual misconduct during private Mass in Mendota Heights

MINNESOTA
St. Paul Pioneer Press

January 24, 2018

By S. M. Chavey

A San Diego priest has admitted to sexual misconduct while celebrating a private Mass eight years ago in a woman’s Mendota Heights home.

He is an ordained Catholic priest currently on a leave of absence from the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, according to the Dakota County attorney’s office.

Jacob Andrew Bertrand, 35, pleaded guilty Monday to one charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The second count was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

In the summer of 2010, Bertrand “wore his stole, and had candles burning,” and the victim “straddled Bertrand while he performed the Sacrifice of the Mass,” according to the revised criminal complaint.

The two had previously kissed and Bertrand had “mystically proposed” to her, according to the criminal complaint.

The woman reported the conduct to Catholic Church officials in 2012 and 2014, and Bertrand was charged in 2016.

Clergy members can be charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct for having sex with persons they’re not married to while being asked for or providing religious spiritual advice, even if the sex is consensual, according to Minnesota law.

His sentencing has been set for May.

Carver priest removed from ministry, investigated for alleged misconduct

ST. PAUL (MN)
Minneapolis Star Tribune

January 24, 2018

By Jean Hopfensperger

He is removed from ministry pending inquiry.

A Carver priest has been removed from ministry following allegations of misconduct, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said Wednesday.

The Rev. Thomas Joseph, parochial administrator at the Church of St. Nicholas in Carver, will be removed from ministry pending the outcome of a police investigation.

The archdiocese said it was contacted by an adult who alleged that Joseph had engaged in inappropriate conduct. It reported the claim to law enforcement.

No details of the alleged victim or misconduct were provided.

Joseph issued a statement on the archdiocese's website, expressing "surprise and dismay" at the allegations.

"While I am prepared to cooperate with this investigation to clear my good name and the name of the Church, I wish to emphasize my innocence," he wrote.

The move comes a day after a Catholic priest pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct in Dakota County. The Rev. Jacob Andrew Bertrand, from California, pleaded guilty to criminal sexual contact with a young woman while saying mass in the basement of her parents' home in 2010.

Statement Regarding Rev. Thomas Joseph

ST. PAUL (MN)
Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis

January 23, 2018

From Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda

The Archdiocese’s Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment was contacted by an adult alleging inappropriate conduct on the part of Father Thomas Joseph, Parochial Administrator of the Church of Saint Nicholas in Carver. Following our protocols, that Office immediately contacted law enforcement. Director Tim O’Malley provided them with the information we received, offered our assistance and described our procedures for handling such matters, including our commitment to not taking any action that would interfere with their investigation. We indicated to them that it was our policy that clergy under criminal investigation are removed from ministry for the duration of the investigation.

Yesterday, the investigating law enforcement agency notified us that our removal of Father Joseph from ministry would not interfere with an investigation they have begun of an allegation against Father Joseph of criminal conduct involving an adult. With that clarification, Father Joseph was removed temporarily from ministry, pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.

Father’s removal from ministry should not be considered an indication or presumption of guilt.

Anyone with additional information regarding this matter is encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency.

Father Thomas Joseph requested that, with this announcement, I include a statement that he has issued:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I wish to express my surprise and dismay at these allegations. It is paramount that we as Catholics come together in God’s Light to seek the truth. I believe in our system of justice and I understand the need to fully investigate any accusations. While I am prepared to cooperate with this investigation to clear my good name and the name of the Church, I wish to emphasize my innocence. I ask all of you to pray for me and be assured of my prayers for you.

In Christ Jesus

Father Thomas Joseph

January 26, 2018

Judge slashes priest’s $2 million bail in child-porn, meth case

BELLEVILLE(IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

January 26, 2018

By Dana Rieck

A Mascoutah priest accused of possessing child pornography remained in jail Friday afternoon, even after a St. Clair County judge significantly reduced the man’s $2 million bail.

The Rev. Gerald Hechenberger, associate pastor of Holy Childhood Church and school in Mascoutah, now could be released on bond if he posts $25,000.

Hechenberger was booked into jail Jan. 9 on 16 charges of child pornography and one charge of possession of methamphetamine.

He appeared before Judge Randall Kelley with his attorney, James A. Gomeric of Belleville, on Wednesday, where court records indicate his bail was lowered to $250,000. That means Hechenberger would need to post 10 percent in cash — $25,000 — to be released from jail.

Obituary: Rev. William L. Butler, Archdiocese of Boston

WINTHROP (MA)
Legacy.com

BUTLER, Rev. William L. Of West Palm Beach, Florida and Dennis, Mass., formerly of Winthrop, passed away unexpectedly and suddenly while on a vacation cruise in the Caribbean, December 17th, 2017.

Fr. Butler was born in Boston on October 29th, 1934 to his beloved Parents, Edward I. and Margaret (Peggie) Lindsey Butler. He was the oldest of four siblings, a late brother Edward F. (Buddy) of P.E. lsland, Canada two surviving Sisters, Helen E. Gibbs of Salem N.H. and Linda M. McGeorge and partner Richard Perrier of Winthrop.

Opinion: Larry Nassar shouldn't be the only one going to jail

UNITED STATES
The Guardian

January 26, 2018


By Michael Dolce

Survivors reported Nassar’s abuse to coaches, trainers, parents, therapists, a training facility owner, and even law enforcement officials – but all in vain

It is tragically ironic that in the same month we applauded the courageous young survivors confronting Larry Nassar in court for his horrific abuse, we also celebrated the wisdom and legacy of the Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. One of King’s great lessons was that justice can be hindered by “the appalling silence of the good people”.

Indeed, so many survivors of Larry Nassar’s atrocious acts asked one question time and time again: why was he not stopped sooner by the good people who had reason to know of his crimes?

Gymnast Larissa Boyce, runner Christine Achenbach and softball player Tiffany Lopez all recounted their complaints to otherwise “good” people at Michigan State University about Nassar between 1997 and 2000, many years before his relentless abuse of children was stopped.

[Play Video 2:14: Judge tells Larry Nassar 'I just signed your death warrant']

They and many other survivors reported Nassar’s abuse for many years to coaches, trainers, parents, therapists, a training facility owner and even law enforcement officials – but all in vain. Common among the complaints of these survivors is that they were not believed and were silenced, while Nassar continued to attack child after child after child. These survivors’ stories are all too common – in cases that make the news and those that do not.

I have represented child sex abuse victims as a lawyer for many years and in virtually every case the survivor takes a huge risk in speaking up at all. I repeatedly see child sex abuse survivors, just like most adult sex crime victims, disbelieved by numerous people – especially those who were in positions of power to stop the abuse in the first place.

Nearly 80 clergy accused of child sex abuse in Chile: NGO

CHILE
Agence France Presse

January 10, 2018

US-based organization Bishop Accountability published a database naming nearly 80 priests and clergymen on Wednesday who have been accused of sexually abusing minors.

[Link to video]

Vatican defrocks Peter J. Inzerillo, priest accused in sex assaults in Massachusetts dating back decades

WORCESTER (MA)
MassLive.com

January 26, 2018

By Phil Demers

At his own request, Peter J. Inzerillo, a Worcester priest accused of sex abuse, has been defrocked by the Vatican and Pope Francis, according to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester.

"It is my fervent prayer that Christ may bring healing and hope to anyone who has been abused by a priest or by anyone in the Catholic Church," Bishop Robert McManus, the leader of Worcester's Roman Catholic diocese, said in a statement on the development released this week.

Added the statement, "As a result of the laicization, (Inzerillo) may not function in any capacity as a priest or be referred to as a priest or as "Father" in writing such as in event announcements or obituaries."

Now 74 and ordained in 1970, Inzerillo formerly served as headmaster of St. Peter-Marian High School in Worcester from 1979 to 1985, also coaching hockey there and at St. Bernard's Central Catholic High School in Fitchburg during the time.

Opinion: Shame on Pope Francis for casting doubt on clergy-abuse victims

UNITED STATES
Seattle Times

January 26, 2018

By Mary Dispenza

It’s time, Pope Francis, to stand up for survivors, take their stories to heart and take the right action.

In scripture we find the lines, “If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” Survivors of clerical sex abuse are tired of turning the other cheek — tired of lies and promises, especially by popes, who through the ages have formed commission after commission, held conference after conference, issued report after report, and made promise after promise.

Church leadership has repeatedly sought forgiveness for what Pope Francis recently described as the “irreparable damage” caused by priests. In the midst of Francis’ tears and apologies, the systemic evil of clergy sex abuse remains alive and largely undercover within the ranks of the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis is no different from popes who came before him. When it comes to his brother priests, Francis protects them at the cost of heaping pain and shame upon victims as was the case last week when he visited Chile. Francis did not receive a completely warm welcome there. Nor did he deserve one.

In 2015, Pope Francis appointed Chilean Bishop Juan Barros to head the diocese of Osorno in southern Chile. The pope knew that Barros had been accused of covering up the crimes of Father Fernando Karadima, a former Santiago priest accused of raping and molesting children.

Pope Francis asks forgiveness from sexual abuse victims but reaffirms support for Bishop Barros

UNITED STATES
America

January 22, 2018

By Gerard O’Connell

In an hour-long press conference on the plane from Lima to Rome, Jan. 21, Pope Francis asked pardon from the victims of sexual abuse by priests or religious for his use of words that offended them in his remarks about Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, Chile. But he also reaffirmed his support for Bishop Barros, saying he has not received any evidence against him.

On Thursday Jan. 18, the pope told reporters on a plane flight in Chile, “The day they bring me proof against the bishop, then I will speak. There is not a single proof against him. This is calumny! Is that clear?” Francis stated.

Responding to a question from a Chilean journalist today, Pope Francis spoke of “what the abused feel” regarding his remark.

“I must ask pardon [from them] because the word ‘proof’ has hurt many of the abused, and [what] I meant to ask for was ‘evidence.’ I ask forgiveness. It’s a hurt [caused] without wishing it,” Pope Francis said.

Carver priest removed following allegation of inappropriate conduct

CARVER (MN)
Chaska Herald

January 24, 2018

By Alex Chhith

The Rev. Thomas Joseph has been removed from St. Nicholas Catholic Church amid an allegation by an adult of inappropriate conduct, according to a statement from the leader of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Joseph, who has served at the Carver church for nearly a decade, was due to leave the congregation on Feb. 1 to serve at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Tribunal Office. After that, the Rev. William Deziel, pastor of Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Chaska, and the Rev. Edison Galarza, new parochial vicar, will serve both Carver and Chaska churches, according to a letter from Archbishop Bernard Hebda.

The change prompted outcry from many parishioners at St. Nicholas, who asked the archdiocese to extend Joseph’s time to ensure a smooth transition. Many were upset with the lack of notice given to parishioners and questioned the hasty transition. The story ran in the Jan. 18 edition of the Chaska Herald and the archdiocese declined to comment on it.

Archdiocese suspends west metro priest; sheriff investigating sexual misconduct allegation

ST. PAUL (MN)
Pioneer Press

January 25, 2018

By Nick Woltman

A west metro priest is under criminal investigation after he was accused of “inappropriate conduct” with an adult, according to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The Rev. Thomas Joseph, parochial administrator of the Church of St. Nicholas in Carver, has been suspended by the archdiocese for the duration of the investigation, Archbishop Bernard Hebda wrote in a Tuesday news release.

Joseph is being investigated by the Carver County Sheriff’s Office following an allegation of criminal sexual misconduct. A woman alleges Joseph had sexual contact with her several times over the span of 2½ years, according to the sheriff’s office.

Hebda cautioned that Joseph’s removal from ministry does not indicate a presumption of guilt, and he urged anyone with additional information about the matter to contact law enforcement officials.

Minnesota Priest Accused of Sexual Misconduct

CARVER (MN)
Associated Press via KAALtv.com

January 25, 2018

The Carver County Sheriff's Office is investigating an allegation of criminal sexual misconduct against a priest in Carver.

Rev. Thomas Joseph said in a statement that he was surprised by the allegation and is prepared to fully cooperate with the investigation because he is innocent of the accusations.

The sheriff's department says an adult female alleges Joseph had sexual contact with her several times over the course of 2½ years.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis says Joseph has been removed from the ministry at Saint Nicholas while the allegation is investigated. The archdiocese says Joseph's removal should not be considered an indication of guilt.

Editorial: More heads should roll over gymnastics scandal

UNITED STATES
Miami Herald

January 26, 2018

The most enduring image from the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta was gymnast Kerri Strug’s courageous second vault and perfect landing on a badly sprained ankle that sealed the all-around gold medal for Team USA.

As she was carried off the floor, she was turned over to the tender mercies of team doctor Larry Nassar, helping cement his fame as a healer. On Wednesday, Nassar, 54, was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison on multiple counts of sexual assault involving young women he treated.

During seven days of victim-impact hearings in a Lansing, Mich., courtroom, 156 women testified that Nassar had abused them under the guise of providing medical care either as a team doctor for USA Gymnastics or at Michigan State University, where he was a faculty member. He also faces a 60-year federal sentence on child pornography charges.

As inspiring as it was to see so many young women bravely tell their stories, it is deeply troubling that, once again, institutions charged with protecting young people failed them instead.

As with the Catholic church’s ongoing clerical abuse scandals and the 2011 Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal at Penn State University, institutions looked the other way when confronted with the awful truth. Too much money was at stake. Reputations had to be protected at all costs.

With Larry Nassar Sentenced, Focus Is on What Michigan State Knew

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

January 25, 2018

By Mitch Smith and Anemona Hartocollis

Michigan State University was propelled on Thursday to the center of the sexual abuse scandal involving Dr. Lawrence G. Nassar, as state and federal agencies mounted investigations demanding to know what the college knew of his behavior and when.

Neither the sentencing of Dr. Nassar on Wednesday to 40 to 175 years in prison, nor the resignation of the university president a few hours later, quelled the furor. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said on Thursday that her department would investigate Michigan State’s role, while state legislators asked that the university provide unredacted records of its investigations of Dr. Nassar and threatened to issue subpoenas if the school did not swiftly comply.

At the same time, the state attorney general was preparing his own review of the university, a United States senator asked for congressional hearings, and the speaker of the Michigan House called for the resignations of the university’s trustees, who are elected by voters.

“This is one of the biggest scandals in the history of our state,” said the speaker, Tom Leonard, a Republican, who has asked House lawyers to review options for removing trustees if they did not quit. “We are dealing with a Big Ten university. We are dealing with a monster who was a serial child molester and rapist who may have violated more victims than any other rapist in the history of our state.”

The repercussions were not limited to Michigan State. The head of the United States Olympic Committee, Scott Blackmun, wrote an email to U.S.A. Gymnastics, threatening to decertify the federation if its entire board did not resign by next Wednesday. Several board members, including the chairman, Paul Parilla, have already resigned.

Responding to Mr. Blackmun late Thursday, U.S.A. Gymnastics, the sport’s governing body, said it “completely embraces the requirements” outlined in the letter. The organization’s unsigned reply said U.S.A. Gymnastics would “work with the U.S.O.C. to accomplish change for the betterment of our organization, our athletes and our clubs.”

At Michigan State, university officials are already facing the prospect of legal judgments and fees from lawsuits filed by dozens of victims. At Penn State, where a former football coach was found to be a serial child molester, those costs have reached nearly a quarter of a billion dollars.

The lawsuits and the legislative inquiries center on what Michigan State knew about Dr. Nassar’s behavior during the two decades he worked there. Several victims have alleged that they had told Michigan State employees, as far back as the late 1990s, about being molested under the guise of treatment.

In 2014, after a complaint from a patient, the university conducted an internal investigation that cleared him, after which he continued to prey on more patients. On Thursday, ESPN reported that Michigan State had neglected to tell federal authorities, who were investigating the college’s handling of other sexual misconduct complaints, about the 2014 case until the accusations against Dr. Nassar became widely known in 2016.

**


Some of his patients said they complained to Michigan State employees, including the women’s gymnastics coach at the time, Kathie Klages, in the late 1990s, according to court papers, but were met with disbelief. A lawyer for Ms. Klages has not commented on the allegations.

In 2014, a recent graduate filed a complaint against Dr. Nassar under Title IX, the federal law governing sexual harassment and assault on campus. She said that she had sought out Dr. Nassar for hip pain, and that he molested her and became sexually aroused until she removed his hands from her body, according to court papers in the civil cases filed against him.

But after consulting with other medical professionals, including Dr. Nassar’s colleagues, the university’s investigation concluded that his treatment had been “medically appropriate,” the court papers said.

The abuse continued until 2016, when Rachael Denhollander, a former gymnast, told her story to The Indianapolis Star, and a police investigation soon began.

On Thursday, ESPN reported that Michigan State had failed to turn over its file on Dr. Nassar in 2014, when the Education Department was investigating unrelated complaints about the way the university had handled sexual assault and harassment cases. The university began turning over records in late 2016, ESPN reported, saying that the failure had been an oversight.

On Thursday, the education secretary said her agency would review Michigan State’s handling of the complaints against Dr. Nassar. “What happened at Michigan State is abhorrent,” Ms. DeVos said. “Students must be safe and protected on our nation’s campuses. The department is investigating this matter and will hold M.S.U. accountable for any violations of federal law.”

But in a December letter to Mr. Schuette, the Michigan attorney general, the university’s lawyer, Patrick Fitzgerald, said he believed that evidence would show that no Michigan State official believed that Dr. Nassar committed sexual abuse before the newspaper reports in 2016. The university is also arguing that it cannot be held liable because of Michigan’s sovereign immunity law, which protects state agencies from lawsuits in most circumstances and “protects the state’s citizens by safeguarding its fiscal stability,” the school said in a court filing.

John Manly, a lawyer for some of the women in the civil cases, said the university’s response to the lawsuits reminded him of the way the Roman Catholic Church had responded to allegations of child sex abuse by priests. “It’s a page right out of the bishops’ playbooks,” he said.

After stumble in South America, what does Pope Francis' papacy mean for Catholics and the world?

DALLAS (TX)
Dallas News

January 25, 2018

By Sara Coello, Contributing Writer

After nearly five years of praise from both Catholic and secular voices for championing causes from environmental responsibility to hospitality for refugees, Pope Francis has taken what some critics see as the first major misstep of his papacy.

After a recent visit to Chile, the pope criticized accusers of Chilean Bishop Juan Barros of committing "calumny" for claiming that Barros covered up years of sexual abuse committed by a superior. The pope's comment came as a surprise to many who saw him as an advocate for increased attention to social justice, particularly in the global South.

Pope Francis apologized for his language, but maintained his position amid roars of criticism.

Two leading Catholic journalists took to the stage at Dallas's Moody Performance Hall Wednesday evening and called the pope's recent comments a departure from his pattern of emphasizing merciful interpretation of the Catholic canon.

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat and Crux contributing editor Austen Ivereigh have followed Francis throughout his papacy, reporting on his political impact and on more general shifts in Catholic culture.

Editorial: Stop private schools' ability to 'pass the trash'

NEW YORK
The Journal News

January 26, 2018

New York private school administrators should follow the same reporting rules as public school administrators when it comes to reports of abuse. Shockingly, they are not mandated, under current state law, to alert authorities to reports of child abuse in the educational setting, nor to report a worker's resignation after such accusations.

State legislators are poised to vote on a bill that would align private school reporting rules with what's expected of public school leaders. Passage of this legislation should have happened years ago.

Public schools have been mandated since 2000 to report suspicions of sex abuse by any staff, faculty or volunteer in the school environment, whether in a classroom, on a field trip or bus, or during extra-curricular activities. But private school administrators don't fall under such regulations. It was a mistake then, and it's a mistake now.

The legislation (A5371/S4342) has gained wide support.The New York State Catholic Conference has said it supports the legislation, which aligns with changes the American bishops made years ago in the wake of abuse reports. Agudath Israel, an umbrella organization for Orthodox Jewry, has remained publicly mum on the bill.

[CHILD VICTIMS ACT: Senate blocks access for New Yorkers abused as kids]

This is a separate issue from the Child Victims Act, which would extend the statute of limitations for both civil and criminal charges in reporting child sex abuse. That bill has been sentenced to death-by-committee year after year in the Senate; advocates report that Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan continues to ignore their requests to meet and discuss the legislation. It's time for compassion and justice to prevail. The legislation should finally be passed as part of the upcoming state budget process, at the very latest.

January 25, 2018

Church defrocks former St. Peter-Marian headmaster named in sex-abuse suit

WORCESTER (MA)
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

January 25, 2018

By Mark Sullivan

A Catholic priest named in one of the Worcester Diocese’s largest sex-abuse settlements has been laicized, or defrocked, the diocese announced Thursday.

Peter J. Inzerillo, at his own request, was “dispensed from the clerical state” by Pope Francis, the diocese said. As a result, Mr. Inzerillo “may not function in any capacity as a priest or be referred to as a priest or as ‘Father.’ ”

The former Rev. Inzerillo was headmaster at St. Peter-Marian High School in Worcester from 1979 to 1985 and coached hockey there and at St. Bernard’s in Fitchburg.

He was vocations director for the Worcester Diocese in 1985 when he allegedly sexually assaulted a 19-year-old from Spencer who was considering entering the seminary.

The younger man, Edward Gagne, said he disclosed during counseling sessions with the vocations director that he had been abused before, as a 13-year-old altar boy, by another priest - and he alleged that Rev. Inzerillo then abused him in turn.

Stormont stalemate means abuse victims dying without justice - diocese

NORTHER IRELAND
The Irish Times

January 25, 2018

By Patsy McGarry

[See the website of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse and the Report of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, which was published January 20, 2017.]

No action on abuse inquiry recommendations for victims until new executive set up

The largest Catholic diocese in Northern Ireland has described it as “deeply regrettable” that stalemate at Stormont has prevented implementation of recommendations by the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIAI).

Following an investigation into the sexual, physical and emotional abuse, neglect and unacceptable practices imposed on children in 22 Catholic, Protestant and state run homes and institutions in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995, a 2,300-page 12-volume report was published a year ago this month.

It recommended that a public apology be made to those who had been in the homes and institutions as children and that they be paid compensation.

In a statement Down and Connor diocese said it “unequivocally accepts” the HIAI recommendations in respect of those care institutions that were under its sole and/or joint management but that, a year on from the report’s publication, it was “deeply regrettable” these “haven’t been implemented due to the vacuum created by the current political impasse in Northern Ireland.”

It said “the legacy of abuse is compounded by the lack of a solution and compromise at the level of politics” and that “sadly, over the past year, some former residents of these homes have died and others have continued to suffer as they await support.”

Opinion: Pope Francis' blind spot on sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service via National Catholic Reporter

January 25, 2018

By Thomas Reese

The overwhelming consensus in the media is that Pope Francis has a blind spot when it comes to sexual abuse.

He may be on the side of refugees, migrants, the sick, the poor, the indigenous and other marginalized peoples, but he just doesn't get it when it comes to victims of abuse.

The evidence for this assertion is the pope's unwavering support for Juan Barros, whom he appointed bishop of Osorno, Chile, despite accusations from victims that he witnessed and covered up abuse by the Fr. Fernando Karadima, the charismatic priest who in 2011 was found guilty by the Vatican of abusing minors in his upscale Santiago parish.

Sex abuse prevention to feature at Vatican’s family meeting

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press via The Republic [Columbus IN]

January 25, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

The Vatican’s upcoming conference on families in Ireland will feature a seminar on child protection, after the church’s sex abuse scandal devastated the credibility of the Catholic Church in the country.

Pope Francis’ top adviser on protecting children from pedophiles, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, will head the seminar and survivors are expected to participate, said Cardinal Kevin Farrell, head of the Vatican’s laity and family office.

He told a Vatican press conference that details would be announced later this month.

Francis is widely expected to travel to Dublin to attend the final days of the Aug. 21-26 World Meeting of Families, where the sex abuse scandal is likely to play out given the scale of abuse and cover-up in the country.

The Vatican refused to cooperate with three Irish government-ordered investigations from 2005 to 2009 which documented the rapes, molestations and other abuse suffered by thousands of Irish children by priests in their parishes and by nuns and brothers in boarding schools and orphanages.

Irish bishops did not report a single case to police until 1996 after victims began to sue the church.

Amid #MeToo, Evangelicals Grapple With Misconduct In Their Own Churches

UNITED STATES
National Public Radio

January 24, 2018

By Tom Gjelten

[Includes link to audio]

The #MeToo movement, having exposed alleged sexual misconduct from Hollywood to Capitol Hill and in board rooms and news rooms, has now reached into evangelical Christian circles, raising questions unique to that faith culture.

Christians focus deeply on a narrative of sin and redemption, but that theme can complicate how church leaders respond to sexual misconduct within their own ranks. Heartfelt confessions and a celebration of divine forgiveness may not be enough.

That challenge was made clear for some evangelicals earlier this month when a young Tennessee pastor, Andy Savage, stood before his congregation and emotionally confessed to what he called "a sexual incident" in 1998 with a 17-year-old girl, Jules Woodson.

Column: What would you do if you had a chance to protect young girls?

UNITED STATES
Bangor Daily News

January 24, 2018

By Matthew Gagnon

I’d like to think I’d be different, though I hope I never find out.

I think virtually everyone in this country likes to think they would be different, too.

Yet it seems, despite that desire and belief in our own good intentions, truly horrendous things continue to happen in this country that were made possible by the complicit silence or cover up of people. People who at one point in their life thought to themselves, “if I was in that situation, I never would have let that happen.”

We are quick to judge our own nobility. When we learn that a woman was the victim of domestic abuse, people often declare that they would never let themselves or their children stay in a situation like that. Others tell themselves that if they knew, or even suspected, that someone they knew was being abused, they would say something and ensure that the abuse stopped.

When many of us – particularly everyday Catholics like myself – learned of the systematic abuse of children by clergy in the Catholic Church, and the subsequent cover up that protected the sexual predators who perpetrated the abuse, we were horrified. Not only by the abuse, but by the adults who knew that children were being victimized and did nothing, instead remaining silent and shuffling abusers to new locations where they could prey on others.

Church bankruptcy mediator steps down

ST. PAUL (MN)
Minnesota Public Radio

January 24, 2018

By Martin Moylan

A plan to try once again to resolve the bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis through mediation has hit a snag with the resignation of Arthur Boylan, the retired federal judge who was slated to lead mediation efforts.

Boylan stepped aside Tuesday, a day after scheduling a series of mediation sessions for early next month. His resignation letter did not provide an explanation for his decision and he did not respond to a request for comment.

Last month, U.S. District Court judge Robert Kressel ordered all parties into mediation after rejecting competing reorganization proposals.

The judge urged the archdiocese, abuse victims, parishes, insurance companies and their lawyers to "put aside their desire to win, and decide to put together a resolution that is fair to all of the people involved."

Kressel said victims must forego any desire for retribution and the church must "put aside its desire to minimize pain, realizing that the personal pain its employees inflicted upon victims is inevitably going to result in financial pain being suffered by a new generation of parishioners and employees."

Pope wants journalism like the Catholic church wants child sex abuse probes: Slow, aimless...

UNITED STATES
The Register (UK-based online publication)

January 24, 2018

By Shaun Nichols

Easy with those exclusives and unfortunate facts, hacks

Take it easy with those hard-hitting exclusives and investigations, said the Pope this week, lumping inconvenient quality journalism with fake news and clickbait.

We can't think why the head of a church mired in decades of globe-spanning child abuse scandals would have a problem with hacks doing their job and getting straight to the point.

Keller @ Large: Why Do Institutions Protect Themselves Instead Of Us?

BOSTON (MA)
WBZ-TV Boston (CBS)

January 25, 2018

By Jon Keller

Before the horrendous saga of the USA Gymnastics doctor who molested dozens of women and girls begins to fade from the public eye, let’s take a moment to consider an important lesson the sordid case of Larry Nassar teaches us – we need our institutions to protect us and to prioritize that protection over all other considerations.

In the Nassar case, multiple victims have charged that officials with Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, and the U.S. Olympic Committee, which all had authority over Nassar, brushed off the victims and their families when they complained about this sexual predator.

And at Nassar’s sentencing Wednesday, the judge made it clear she hopes they will also have to face justice.

“There has to be a massive investigation as to why there was inaction, why there was violence. Justice requires more than what I can do on this bench,” said Judge Rosemarie Aquilina.

This brought back bad memories of the way our politicians so often fail us by hiding the truth from us, the way the Catholic Church blamed the victims and protected the perpetrators of the priest sex abuse scandal, the way government watchdogs are too often leashed, or turned into lapdogs for the abusers of power instead of warriors for their victims.

Pope Francis Offers Partial Apology To Clergy Sex Abuse Victims After Demand For ‘Proof’

UNITED STATES
HuffPost

January 23, 2018

By Carol Kuruvilla

But the pope didn’t waver in his support for a controversial Chilean bishop accused of covering up abuse.

Pope Francis partially apologized for last week’s brusque attack on victims of sex abuse by the clergy ― but he continued supporting a controversial Chilean bishop accused of protecting an abusive priest.

On board a papal flight from Peru to Rome late Sunday, the pontiff acknowledged to journalists that his demand to see “proof” that Bishop Juan Barros Madrid had been complicit in the abuse of minors could have hit victims like a “slap in the face.” He said he realized that his words on Thursday implied that victims’ accusations of sexual abuse are only credible with concrete evidence.

“To hear that the pope says to their face, ‘Bring me a letter with proof,’ is a slap in the face” that he didn’t intend, Francis said, according to The Associated Press.

Although he apologized for asking for “proof,” he suggested the testimony of victims against Barros is still not enough.

“I can’t condemn [Barros] because I don’t have evidence. But I’m also convinced that he’s innocent,” the pope said, according to AP.

The Women Who Were Abused By Larry Nassar Aren’t Done Sharing Their Stories

UNITED STATES
TIME magazine

January 25, 2018

By Alice Park

One of the many women sexually abused by disgraced USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar recalled feeling like a “shell of a child,” as three of Nassar’s victims took to the airwaves Thursday morning a day after he was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison.

“I was a shell of a child, I thought I had no way out,” elite gymnast Mattie Larson said on the Today show, appearing alongside Kyle Stephens and Rachel Denhollander, who were also sexually abused by Nassar.

More than 150 women delivered statements at Nassar’s sentencing hearing, detailing years of abuse that began for some when they were as young as six years old. Nassar’s victims spanned gymnasts in Michigan, where he was on the faculty at Michigan State University before he was fired in 2016, a family friend, as well as Olympians Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber. Raisman and Wieber’s Olympic teammates Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney also said they were abused by Nassar.

“To watch all of these women who are able to come forward and speak the truth about the abuse that happened to them, and are able to put the shame and blame back where it belongs, is an incredibly powerful thing to witness,” Denhollander, the first woman to publicly reveal she was a victim of sexual assault by Nassar, said Thursday on the Today show. But while she first reported Nassar’s conduct to the people he worked for including USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University in 2004, she noted that other people had also reported him starting in the late 1990s. “The vast majority [of abuse]… did not have to happen,” Denhollander said.

Larson described intentionally hurting herself in order to avoid the national training camp where she knew Nassar would be, hitting her head against a tub the night before she was scheduled to leave for the camp.

The women echoed criticisms heard all week against the institutions that continued to support Nassar — USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University, and Twistars Gymnastics, where Nassar also worked as doctor. But it wasn’t until the publicly aired statements by the survivors that in recent days, that the board leadership of USA Gymnastics resigned, and MSU’s president resigned.

While Nassar abused gymnasts and athletes under the guise of medical treatment, with Kyle Stephens, whose parents were friends with Nassar, it was simply abuse. Only six years old when Nassar began exposing himself, masturbating and abusing her in his basement, Stephens said she did not realize she was abused until several years later, when she saw coverage of the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.

The pope is defending a bishop accused of witnessing abuse. What do his words mean to survivors?

UNITED STATES
PBS Newshour

January 23, 2018

[Includes video]

Pope Francis came under fire during a trip to Chile for defending a bishop accused of directly witnessing and covering up sexual abuse by another church figure, dating back to the 1980s. While the pope apologized for his wording, he stands by the bishop. Lisa Desjardins talks with Anne Barrett Doyle of BishopAccountability.org about what the pontiff’s words mean to victims and other Catholics.

Judy Woodruff:

The pope just concluded a trip to Chile this weekend, aimed at healing some of the after-effects of sexual abuse committed there.

But his remarks during that trip, and on his return from it, about the role of a bishop in a scandal there have raised questions.

Lisa Desjardins looks at the pope’s pledges to change the church’s actions and attitude.

Lisa Desjardins:

The cases in Chile date back to the 1980s and a well-connected priest found to be a pedophile, the Reverend Fernando Karadima.

Both the Vatican and a Chilean judge concluded those accusations were credible. The church defrocked him.

Why this matters now? Karadima was a longtime mentor to a current bishop, Juan Barros Madrid. He is accused of covering up and witnessing the abuse.

While in Chile to apologize for abuse by other priests, Pope Francis defended this bishop, saying there is not one shred of evidence against him.

That set off a firestorm. The pope apologized for his wording yesterday, but he also stood by the bishop.

Anne Barrett Doyle is the co-director of the watchdog group and web site BishopAccountability.org. And she joins me now.

Lawmakers want to give sex abuse victims from decades past the chance to file suit

HONOLULU (HAWAII)
Hawaii News Now

January 25, 2018

By Lynn Kawano

Hawaii lawmakers want to give more abuse victims the chance to come forward and file civil lawsuits, no matter how much time has passed.

Bills introduced in both the House and Senate failed last session, but a national movement to expose abusers and the high profile case against Kamehameha Schools could add momentum for the legislation.

Representative Linda Ichiyama and Senator Maile Shimabukuro introduced companion bills which would extend the window for lawsuits despite the statute of limitations.

"What we're learning from data and research about trauma and what happens to a person's brain when they undergo trauma is that they're not ready to bring suits until much later," says Ichiyama, "I think we need to adjust policies to reflect that research now that we know."

More than a hundred victims came forward between 2012 and 2016, a four-year window that was opened for old sex abuse cases. Most of the cases involved catholic church priests and a psychiatrist who molested boys while they attended Kamehameha Schools.

Shimabukuro says national movements like the "#MeToo" campaign have also highlighted the need for victims to stand up and expose abusers.

"Less and less people are having shame for something that happened to them that wasn't their fault," says Shimabukuro.

Controversial proposal to compensate abusers who also were victims

AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

January 25, 2018

By Miles Kemp

Some of the state’s worst paedophiles would be compensated for themselves being victims when they were children under a radical scheme proposed by the Victims of Crime Commissioner.

In his submission to legislation dealing with the fallout from the Royal Commission into child abuse in institutions, commissioner Michael O’Connell says their plight as abused children cannot be ignored.

“Redress is not about their crime (as an adult) but rather about their victimisation as children,’’ Mr O’Connell states in a submission he provided to The Advertiser.

“The redress scheme cannot be truly just, fair and equitable if some kinds of victims are ineligible.

“All (child) victims should count, including those who later became offenders.

“No child should ever experience that which inquiry after inquiry, victim story after victim story, have revealed happened”.

The controversial statements will reignite what the federal and state governments last year described as the “agonising” decision to exclude those victims who had gone on to abuse others.

Why Francis sometimes may be a prophet without honor in his own land

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

January 25, 2018

By John L. Allen Jr.

News Analysis

Pope Francis just concluded the 22nd international trip of his papacy, to Chile and Peru, and it says something about the media honeymoon he’s enjoyed up to now that it’s really the first such trip about which pundits and commentators could have a meaningful debate over whether it was a success or a failure.

It may also say something about the wisdom of Jesus’ saying, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place, and among his own kin and in his own house,” that Francis’s first could-be flop came in South America. (I make the distinction here between South America and Latin America because the dynamics are often different in Central America.)

On the pope’s trip, controversy centered around Francis’s response to the clerical sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, and specifically, his handling of the case of a bishop in Chile who’s been accused by victims of that country’s most notorious pedophile priest of knowing about their abuse and covering it up.

In a nutshell, Francis apologized to victims for the enormous wrongs they’ve suffered, and also reiterated his commitment to a “zero tolerance” policy. He met privately with victims, in order to hear their stories and to share their pain.

At the same time, he did not yield an inch on the case of Bishop Juan Barros, one of four Chilean prelates accused of being in on the cover-up. There’s been pressure on Francis to remove Barros ever since he named him to a small southern Chilean diocese in 2015, but the pope made crystal-clear that’s not going to happen.

January 24, 2018

We have lived this story before. And yet, here we are

BOSTON (MA)
The Boston Globe

January 25, 2018

By Yvonne Abraham

Because nobody who currently runs the world of elite gymnastics can be trusted. Nobody in that world would protect Larry Nassar’s victims from his horrific sexual abuse. The days of testimony in a Michigan courtroom, which culminated in the doctor’s sentencing Wednesday, have laid bare the utter and cataclysmic failures of officials at USA Gymnastics, at Michigan State, and elsewhere, to keep the children in their care from harm.

Time and again, victims were doubted, their allegations ignored. Winning was everything.

“Your abuse started 30 years ago,” said Needham native and gold medalist Aly Raisman, testifying at the sentencing hearing on Friday. “If over these many years just one adult listened and had the courage and character to act . . . I and so many others would have never, ever met you.”

We have lived this story before. It has been 16 years since the Globe and others exposed the rampant, decades-long plague of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. And yet here we are, as if none of it — nor any of the ensuing sexual scandals in other hallowed institutions — ever happened.

For decades, with the help of officials who required gymnasts to submit to his treatment, Nassar preyed on defenseless girls made more vulnerable by their dreams of winning gold medals in a sport that demanded perfection, and absolute compliance. So far, 150 women have come forward to say he molested them.

Chilean survivor of clergy sex abuse denies he is lying

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

January 24, 2018

By Heidi Schlumpf and Maria Benevento

Despite repeated accusations by Pope Francis that survivors of clergy sex abuse in Chile are guilty of "slander" and "calumny," Juan Carlos Cruz is still speaking out about the abuse he suffered at the hands of a Chilean priest — and about the cover-up by church leaders there.

During his visit to Chile last week and on the papal plane Jan. 21, Pope Francis defended Bishop Juan Barros Madrid of Osorno, Chile, insisting there is no evidence the prelate ignored or covered up sexual abuse by Fr. Fernando Karadima.

But Cruz told NCR Jan. 23 that he and other survivors testified — in criminal, civil and church proceedings — that while "the bigger abuse was behind closed doors," Barros was in the room when Karadima touched the genitals and put his tongue in the mouth of Cruz and other victims.

"That's what Barros saw," said Cruz, who now lives in Wilmington, Delaware. "I don't know if I should have taken a photograph for more evidence. What other evidence than our testimony, and that of so many others, do they need?"

He believes it is impossible that Barros and others did not see the abuse. "They were standing by me when things happened," Cruz said. "If they want to say they saw nothing, that is an absolute lie."

Cruz and other victims of Karadima have testified in court and in letters sent to church officials that Barros and other church officials — including bishops Andrés Arteaga, an auxiliary in Santiago, Tomislav Koljatic of Linares, Chile, and Horacio Valenzuela of Talca, Chile — knew of the abuse and covered it up.

The Chilean bishops have consistently denied witnessing any abuse by Karadima or participating in a cover up. Barros and Valenzuela denied the accusations most recently in an interview with Cruxnow.com, in a story published Jan. 17.

Don’t compromise on protecting minors from abuse, pope says

VATICAN CITY (ITALY)
Catholic News Service via CatholicPhilly.com

January 24, 2018

[Includes link to related video]

Pope Francis said he told the bishops and priests of Chile to be uncompromising when it comes to protecting minors from sexual abuse and to trust that God will purify and renew his church during this time of trial.

Problems and conflicts must never be swept under the rug, he also said, because they can be resolved only through openness and dialogue.

At his weekly general audience Jan. 24 in St. Peter’s Square, the pope told an estimated 15,000 pilgrims and visitors about his Jan. 15-21 visit to Chile and Peru.

Thanking leaders, organizers and volunteers for all their hard work and generosity in contributing to a trip where “everything went well,” the pope also recognized the presence of protesters.

The protests made the theme of his visit to Chile, “I Give You My Peace,” even more relevant and timely, he said, as these words Jesus spoke to his disciples explain how he is the one and only source of peace for those who trust in him.

Some of the more “intense” moments of the trip, he said, were meetings with Chile’s priests, religious and bishops.

Those encounters were made “even more fruitful by the shared suffering over some of the wounds that afflict the church” there, he said. The pope had earlier asked forgiveness from those who were sexually abused by priests, but stood firm with his decision in 2015 to give a diocese to Bishop Juan Barros, who was accused of turning a blind eye to the abuse perpetrated by Father Fernando Karadima, his former mentor.

During his general audience at the Vatican, the pope said he emphasized to his brother bishops and priests that they must “reject every compromise with the sexual abuse of minors and, at the same time, trust in God, who through this difficult trial, purifies and renews his ministers.”

For Pope Francis, Fake News Goes Back to the Garden of Eden

ROME (ITALY)
The New York Times

January 24, 2018

By Jason Horowitz

The serpent in the Garden of Eden hissed the first fake news to Eve and it all went downhill from there, Pope Francis writes in a major document about the phenomenon of fake news released on Wednesday.

“We need to unmask what could be called the ‘snake-tactics’ used by those who disguise themselves in order to strike at any time and place,” the pope writes in a message ahead of what the church has designated as its World Day of Social Communications, in May.

Arguing that the “crafty” serpent’s effective disinformation campaign to get Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge “began the tragic history of human sin,” he adds, “I would like to contribute to our shared commitment to stemming the spread of fake news.”

Pope Francis has worn many hats since his election in 2013 — Vatican reformer; global advocate for refugees, the poor, and world peace; and, more recently, defender of bishops accused of covering up for pedophile priests.

But in a varyingly sophisticated, spiritual and questionable analysis of the fake news epidemic, the 81-year-old pontiff tried on the cap of contemporary media critic to address an issue that has wreaked havoc and undermined democracies from the United States to Europe and beyond.

In doing so, he offered a largely cleareyed assessment of the problem, its social impact, and the responsibility of social media giants and journalists. And he called on news consumers to break out of their comfortable echo chambers and cushy news feeds by seeking out different points of view.

But at times the pope also conflated fake news, which is politically or economically motivated disinformation, with an incremental and sensational style of journalism he dislikes — a muddying of the waters that many democracy advocates have worried is corrosive to a free press and to the ideal of an informed populace.

Nuns 'sorry' over Smyllum abuse claims

EDINBURGH (SCOTLAND)
BBC News

January 24, 2018

A nun in charge of a Catholic order has offered her "deepest and most sincere apologies" to anyone who may have been abused at Smyllum Park orphanage.

Sister Ellen Flynn said "horrifying" accounts of abuse at the Lanark care home were "totally against" everything the order stood for.

She was giving evidence at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry in Edinburgh.

The inquiry has already heard weeks of evidence about the institution, which was shut in 1981.

One former resident, who was a child at the orphanage in the 1960s, has told the inquiry there was a "culture of evil among religious orders" at that time.

Record keeping

Sister Flynn - who broke down in tears during her testimony - said that her heart was with the survivors, as she vowed the order would engage with them and the probe to "put right what wrongs are found".

The pledge came as she and another witness admitted a variety of historical failures had taken place at the home, including "weak" governance and record-keeping.

Dozens of former residents have testified that they received beatings and were mistreated at the home, run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.

Sister Ellen, who is the current head of the order, said: "For those who are in distress, for those whom we have hurt in any way, our deepest and most sincere apologies.

"If we can do something about it, let us know."

She and another nun, Sister Eileen Glancy - who also gave evidence - told the hearing that they wished to amend a previous apology because they now realised that there was "more than a possibility that some abuse had occurred" at Smyllum.

We need to defeat the wolves: Interview with Peter Saunders

EUROPE
Political Critique

January 24, 2018

By Agata Diduszko-Zyglewska

Interview with Peter Saunders, the chief of The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (Great Britain) and a suspended member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable People that was created by Pope Francis.

Agata Diduszko-Zyglewska: You are a survivor of sexual abuse in childhood. Could you tell me what was your story?

Peter Saunders: Yes, I am from London. I was born in a place called Wimbledon in south-west London. I was the youngest of five children born into a good Catholic family, as we were called. The first time I was sexually assaulted it was at my Catholic primary school as a very small child by a head teacher. Many years later when I disclosed the abuse I found out that he had abused many children, but we hadn’t known about each other. Going back nearly 50 years, I remember how the head teacher suddenly disappeared from school. I found out, many years later, that some children had been able to tell to their parents what was happening. So the parents went to the bishop and that man… was sent to another school. A regular, normal pattern for Catholic institutions. Also very early in my life, at 7-8 years of age, I was sexually abused by a member of my family, which lasted until I was 14 years of age. When I went to my secondary school I was also sexually assaulted by two Jesuit priests. One of whom was a head teacher, who was a layman, and the other was a retired priest who lived on the school premises.

Concerning the head teacher’s involvement in the abuse in both schools, I suppose there must have been many more children harmed over the years.

Yes, when I got a lot of publicity three years ago, after meeting the Pope and after being appointed to the pontifical commission. People who I had not seen for a long time and some people I had never met, from my schools, emailed me to say that they had been abused by some of the same priests. Moreover, it turns out that one of my brothers who had been to the school six years before me had been abused by the retired priest too.

Didn’t any adult from your family know about it?

Nobody knew nobody said anything. I remained silent for the next 22-23 years.

Francis' comments on allegations against Bishop Barros make little sense

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

January 24, 2018

By Michael Sean Winters Vatican

Reading Pope Francis' comments at the press conference on the flight back to Rome, regarding clergy sex abuse and the allegations against Bishop Juan Barros Madrid, and rereading them again and again, I confess I cannot make heads or tails out of them.

Pope Francis said at one point: "The word 'proof' was not the best, I would rather say 'evidence.' In Barros' case, I have studied and restudied, there is no evidence to condemn him. And if I condemned without evidence or moral certainty, I would commit a crime of bad judgment."

Related: Francis again cries 'calumny' defending bishop accused of abuse cover-up
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Later, in response to a follow-up question, the pope said, "I must apologize for what the abused feel. The word 'proof' has hurt many of them. They say: Do I have to go look for a certification? I apologize to them if I hurt them without realizing it, I didn't mean to. And it causes me so much pain, because I meet them: in Chile two meetings are known to the public, the others have not been disclosed. In every trip, there is always a chance to meet the victims, the meeting of Philadelphia went public, but not the other cases. To hear that the Pope tells them: 'bring me a letter with proof, is a slap' I realize that my expression didn't come out very well, and I understand, as Peter writes in one of his letters, that the fire has risen. That's what I can honestly say."

When asked about the remarkable statement from Cardinal Sean O'Malley, in which the cardinal bluntly spoke of the hurt caused by the pope's earlier comments on this case, Francis said: "O' Malley said that the Pope has always used 'zero tolerance'... Then there is that 'bad choice of words,' I spoke of calumny, to say of someone who says something with pertinacity without having evidence. If I say: you stole, and you have not stolen, then I am libeling, because I have no evidence. It was an unfortunate expression. But I have not heard any victim of Barros. They did not come, they did not show themselves, they did not give evidence in court. It's all in the air. It is true that Barros was in Karadima's group of young people. But let us be clear: if you accuse someone without evidence with pertinacity, that is calumny. However, if a person arrives and gives me evidence, I will be the first to listen to them. O' Malley's statement was very right, and I have thanked him. He spoke about the pain of victims in general."

The Guilty Soul of Pope Francis

UNITED STATES
New York Review of Books

January 24, 2018

By Ariel Dorfman

There were certain words that Chileans were hoping that Pope Francis would say during his three-day visit to our country last week. They were hoping he would denounce the sexual abuse committed by members of the Catholic clergy, and particularly the offenses perpetrated by a corrupt and malevolent priest named Fernando Karadima. They were also waiting for Francis to condemn the hierarchs in the Catholic Church who had silenced and humiliated the victims and helped to cover up Karadima’s crimes. Above all, my compatriots wanted the pope to publicly chide Bishop Juan Barros, who had been Karadima’s protégé and, according to reports (denied by Barros), had witnessed his mentor’s pedophilia. The issue of Barros mattered symbolically because the pope himself, in 2015, had appointed this collaborator of Karadima’s as the bishop of Osorno, a city in southern Chile, in spite of angry complaints from the congregation.

In an op-ed I wrote for The New York Times that appeared just before the papal visit, I argued that, for Chileans, the way in which Francis handled this case would be a critical test of whether he could restore the prestige of the disgraced local Church, so wounded by these scandals, to the noble place it had held in public sympathy for decades because of its brave opposition to the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet (1973–1990). Pope Francis failed that test.

He did express “shame and pain” at the abuse of minors by members of the clergy, and he did hold a brief meeting with some of the victims—though not with any of those who had been mistreated by Karadima, or with anyone who has blamed Barros for his connivance. But Barros was flagrantly present at three ceremonies over which the pope officiated in Chile during the visit, and on one occasion, the pontiff embraced the bishop and kissed him on the cheek in a display of affection and support.

January 23, 2018

Priest fights witness subpoena in child sex abuse trial: Clergy member claims alleged victim's confession is confidential

ORLANDO (FL)
WKMG News 6

January 22, 2018

By Mike DeForest

Uncomfortable discussing a sensitive matter with her family, a teenage girl made an appointment with a priest to reveal a dark secret she had been carrying for years, according to prosecutors.

While taking part in the Catholic Church's Sacrament of Reconciliation, commonly known as confession, prosecutors claim the girl disclosed to Rev. Vincenzo Ronchi that a relative had sexually abused her on several occasions beginning when she was 7 years old.

During that November 2014 confession, the girl reportedly urged the priest to keep their conversation private because she did not want her family or authorities to know about the molestation, court records state.

Two years later, however, the girl reported the sexual abuse to law enforcement officials.

As Loren Tim Burton now awaits trial on charges of sexual battery and child molestation, prosecutors say they need the priest's testimony to put the defendant in prison for the rest of his life.

"As in the vast majority of child sexual abuses cases, there were no witnesses to the abuse," prosecutors wrote in court papers. "The only evidence the State has to corroborate the victim's testimony at trial is her 'outcry' statement (to Ronchi)."

The alleged victim, now an adult, has signed a waiver granting Ronchi permission to testify about their confidential conversation, court records show. But attorneys representing the clergy member are fighting to keep the priest off the witness stand, arguing that he is forbidden from disclosing anything discussed during confession.

Las causas donde aparece Juan Barros

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

>>>The causes where Juan Barros appears

January 19, 2018

By S. Rodríguez y S. Vedoya

En las investigaciones civiles y canónica sobre el caso Karadima se menciona a l obispo de Osorno, pero no existe ninguna causa específica en su contra.

“Ni en el juicio civil ni en el canónico hubo ninguna prueba. Eso es lo mínimo que cualquier ciudadano puede esperar de la justicia. Si me van a condenar de algo, pruébenlo y que la justicia lo considere válido. Eso, hasta el día de hoy, no ha existido en el caso del obispo Barros. El Papa exigió para un hermano obispo lo que exigimos para todos”, señaló Héctor Vargas, jefe de la diócesis de Temuco.

La opinión del prelado apunta directamente al centro del llamado “tema Barros”: si más allá de declaraciones, rumores, aprensiones, trascendidos y opi- niones existe alguna prueba e investigación concreta respecto del cuestionado obispo y su eventual encubrimiento de las conductas de Karadima. Los denunciantes aseguran que sí hay, en los expedientes ya conocidos sobre Karadima.

Respecto del ex párroco, condenado canónicamente de por vida por abusos sexuales, existen tres investigaciones formales. Una es la eclesiástica, que concluyó con su sanción, en 2011.

Otra fue la indagatoria penal, a cargo de la ministra en visita Jéssica González, que en noviembre de 2011 acreditó la existencia de abusos, pero que estaban prescritos.

En aquel fallo se menciona a Barros dos veces. Una es en el testimonio del religioso Juan Debesa, quien dijo que el ahora obispo apoyó que lo apartaran de los sacerdotes de El Bosque. “Un sábado en la noche estaban Karadima y los entonces seminaristas Andrés Arteaga, Juan Barros y otro que no recuerda, y se le reprochó su conducta por reunirse con personas que ellos no aprobaban”, se indica en el fallo.

La segunda mención está relacionada con la intención y gestiones que hizo Juan Carlos Cruz para ingresar al seminario y que no habrían sido apoyadas por Karadima. “Tampoco supo (el ex párroco) que el actual obispo Barros hubiese enviado al seminario una carta sobre el tema”, se sostiene.

En la indagatoria civil, en tanto, cuyo fallo fue dado a conocer el 16 de marzo de 2017, el ministro de fuero Juan Muñoz Pardo rechazó la demanda presentada por las víctimas del ex párroco de El Bosque, Juan Carlos Cruz, José Andrés Murillo y James Hamilton, en contra del arzobispo de Santiago.

En este documento, fundamentalmente en las declaraciones de los denunciantes, se menciona en múltiples ocasiones al obispo Juan Barros. Y cuando se le pregunta a Karadima su vínculo con el prelado, el sacerdote dijo que “él era de la Acción Católica e iba a verme a la parroquia y yo fui a verlo a Iquique. Una amistad muy sincera; él me consiguió un viaje a Francia, con el obispo de Louvre, para mis 50 años de sacerdocio”.

A la inversa, cuando se le consulta a Barros sobre la conducta de Karadima, el obispo de Osorno respondió que “yo no presencié los hechos, pero sí la sentencia de la Congregación de la Doctrina de la Fe los tuvo por efectivos y adhiero a eso (…)”.

Respecto de la situación de Barros, la especialista en Derecho Canónico de la U. de los Andes, Anastasía Assimakópulos, explicó que “en el sacramento del orden sagrado en el grado de obispo, el único que puede nombrar, trasladar, remover o aceptar una renuncia es el Papa”.

[Google Translation: In civil and canonical investigations on the Karadima case the Bishop of Osorno is mentioned, but there is no specific cause against him.

"Neither in the civil nor in the canonical trial was there any proof. That is the minimum that any citizen can expect from justice. If you are going to condemn me, prove it and that justice considers it valid. That, to this day, has not existed in the case of Bishop Barros. The Pope demanded for a brother bishop what we demand for all, "said Hector Vargas, head of the Diocese of Temuco.

The prelate's opinion points directly to the center of the so-called "Barros theme": if beyond declarations, rumors, apprehensions, transcendence and opinions, there is some concrete evidence and investigation regarding the questioned bishop and his eventual concealment of Karadima's behavior. The complainants assure that there are, in the already known files on Karadima.

Regarding the former parish priest, canonically sentenced for life for sexual abuse, there are three formal investigations. One is the ecclesiastical, which concluded with its sanction, in 2011.

Another one was the criminal investigation, in charge of the minister in visit Jéssica González, who in November of 2011 credited the existence of abuses, but that they were prescribed.

In that ruling, Barros is mentioned twice. One is in the testimony of the religious Juan Debesa, who said that the now bishop supported to be separated from the priests of El Bosque. "One Saturday night were Karadima and the then seminarians Andrés Arteaga, Juan Barros and another who does not remember, and he was reproached for his behavior for meeting people they did not approve," the ruling says.

The second mention is related to the intention and efforts made by Juan Carlos Cruz to enter the seminar and that would not have been supported by Karadima. "Nor did he know (the former parish priest) that the current Bishop Barros had sent a letter to the seminary on the subject," he maintains.

In the civil investigation, meanwhile, whose ruling was released on March 16, 2017, the minister of jurisdiction Juan Muñoz Pardo rejected the lawsuit filed by the victims of the former pastor of El Bosque, Juan Carlos Cruz, José Andrés Murillo and James Hamilton, against the archbishop of Santiago.

In this document, fundamentally in the statements of the complainants, Bishop Juan Barros is mentioned on multiple occasions. And when Karadima was asked about his link with the prelate, the priest said that "he was from Catholic Action and he was going to see me at the parish and I went to see him in Iquique. A very sincere friendship; he got me a trip to France, with the Bishop of Louvre, for my 50 years of priesthood. "

Conversely, when Barros was consulted about Karadima's behavior, the bishop of Osorno replied that "I did not witness the events, but the sentence of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith took them to be effective and I adhere to that (...) ".

Regarding the situation of Barros, the specialist in Canon Law of the U. de los Andes, Anastasia Assimakopoulos, explained that "in the sacrament of sacred order in the degree of bishop, the only one who can name, transfer, remove or accept a renunciation is the Pope."]

Falta de recursos impidió querella contra Barros

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

>>>Lack of resources prevented a lawsuit against Barros

January 23, 2018

By Paula Yévenes and Camila Mardones

Abogado de las víctimas de Karadima dijo que por esto optaron por demandar civilmente a la Iglesia.

Las últimas declaraciones del Papa Francisco en el avión de regreso al Vaticano provocaron diversas reacciones. En la instancia, acompañado por los medios de comunicación, el Pontífice pidió perdón por sus dichos en su último día en Chile, donde respaldó la permanencia del obispo Juan Barros en la diócesis de Osorno y aseguró en esa ocasión que no se ha presentado ninguna “prueba” en su contra (ver nota páginas 2-3).

Pese a que los cuestionamientos al obispo comenzaron en 2015, a la fecha no se ha presentado ninguna acción legal en su contra a partir de las acusaciones que lo vinculan con el ex párroco de El Bosque Fernando Karadima.

Respecto de esta situación, el abogado de las víctimas de Karadima, Juan Pablo Hermosilla, explicó que todos los antecedentes respecto de lo que ocurría en la parroquia de El Bosque están a disposición del Vaticano. “El solo hecho de que Barros haya sido tan cercano a Karadima es un antecedente que habla por sí solo”, expresó.

Además, dijo que no se tomaron acciones en contra de Barros, ni de otros sacerdotes cercanos al ex párroco, porque “no teníamos los recursos para querellarnos en contra de todos ellos. Por eso, preferimos englobar todo en una sola acción, que fue la demanda civil contra la Iglesia”.

Y señaló que para sus defendidos todo el proceso ha significado un gran desgaste emocional. “Se está poniendo el peso del Vaticano a tres víctimas que han hecho un esfuerzo gigantesco. Es una falta de respeto, es una hipocresía”.

Reacciones divididas

Para algunos, la acción del Pontífice representó un gran gesto de humildad. Mientras que para otros, está lejos de ser suficiente para reparar el daño.

En cuanto a la frase donde el Pontífice sostiene que no puede destituir al prelado, porque estaría faltando a la presunción de inocencia, Juan Carlos Claret, vocero de la agrupación de Laicos de Osorno, manifestó que “el Papa no ha comprendido que su labor no es ser un tribunal, sino que un líder espiritual”. Y añadió que “ahora sabemos que él termina asumiendo la exclusiva responsabilidad sobre el nombramiento y permanencia de Juan Barros (…). Eso demuestra un acto de irresponsabilidad inhumano y cruel, porque prefirió sacrificar toda una diócesis y someter al propio Juan Barros a una situación que atañe contra su dignidad”.

Sin embargo, para el mundo católico la acción de Francisco “es una expresión de cercanía hacia las víctimas de abuso y un signo de humildad de un pastor que no tiene dificultad en reconocer que unas palabras suyas han herido a personas que ya han sufrido”. Así lo definió Jaime Coiro, secretario general de la Conferencia Episcopal. Y destacó que los dichos del Pontífice dejan la puerta abierta para presentar más evidencias, “Lo ha dicho el mismo Papa: tiene abierto su corazón a recibir cualquier antecedente que pueda surgir”.

[Google Translation: Lawyer for the victims of Karadima said that this is why they opted to sue the Church civilly.

The latest statements by Pope Francis on the plane back to the Vatican provoked various reactions. In the instance, accompanied by the media, the Pontiff apologized for his remarks on his last day in Chile, where he supported the stay of Bishop Juan Barros in the diocese of Osorno and assured on that occasion that no has been presented. test "against you (see note pages 2-3).

Although the questioning of the bishop began in 2015, to date no legal action has been filed against him based on the accusations linking him to the former pastor of El Bosque, Fernando Karadima.

Regarding this situation, the lawyer of the victims of Karadima, Juan Pablo Hermosilla, explained that all the information regarding what happened in the parish of El Bosque are available to the Vatican. "The mere fact that Barros has been so close to Karadima is an antecedent that speaks for itself," he said.

In addition, he said that no action was taken against Barros, or other priests close to the former pastor, because "we did not have the resources to complain against all of them. Therefore, we prefer to include everything in a single action, which was the civil suit against the Church. "
And he pointed out that for his defendants the whole process has meant a great emotional strain. "The Vatican's weight is being placed on three victims who have made a gigantic effort. It's a lack of respect, it's hypocrisy. "

Split reactions

For some, the action of the Pontiff represented a great gesture of humility. While for others, it is far from enough to repair the damage.

Regarding the sentence where the Pontiff maintains that he can not dismiss the prelate, because he would be missing the presumption of innocence, Juan Carlos Claret, spokesman of the Lajos de Osorno group, said that "the Pope has not understood that his work is not is to be a court, but a spiritual leader. " He added that "now we know that he ends up assuming the exclusive responsibility for the appointment and permanence of Juan Barros (...). This demonstrates an act of inhuman and cruel irresponsibility, because he preferred to sacrifice an entire diocese and subject Juan Barros himself to a situation that concerns his dignity."

However, for the Catholic world, Francisco's action "is an expression of closeness towards victims of abuse and a sign of humility of a pastor who has no difficulty in recognizing that some of his words have hurt people who have already suffered." This was defined by Jaime Coiro, general secretary of the Episcopal Conference. And he stressed that the Pontiff's sayings leave the door open to present more evidence, "The Pope himself has said: he has opened his heart to receive any antecedent that may arise."]

Jesuitas Confirman Condena Contra Sacerdote Que Habría Abusado De Viñuela

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Nación

>>>Jesuits Confirm Sentence Against Priest Who Would Have Abused Viñuela

January 23, 2018

En 2012 se comenzó una investigación en contra del sacerdote, donde se determinó su culpabilidad, sin embargo, esto no se hizo público por petición de uno de los denunciantes.

A raíz de la denuncia de acoso sexual efectuada por el animador de MEGA, José Miguel Viñuela, contra un sacerdote jesuita, la Compañía de Jesús emitió un comunicado asegurando que el agresor, identificado como Jaime Guzmán Astaburuaga, fue condenado por la orden religiosa en el año 2012.

En el texto, se indicó que el delegado provincial de la congregación, Arturo Vigneaux, se reunió con el rostro televisivo para que informara lo sucedido y se invitó a las personas a entregar antecedentes contra el sacerdote.

[Google Translation: In 2012 an investigation was started against the priest, where his guilt was determined, however, this was not made public at the request of one of the complainants.

Following the complaint of sexual harassment carried out by the MEGA animator, José Miguel Viñuela , against a Jesuit priest , the Society of Jesus issued a statement assuring that the aggressor, identified as Jaime Guzmán Astaburuaga, was condemned by the religious order in the year 2012.

In the text, it was indicated that the provincial delegate of the congregation, Arturo Vigneaux, met with the television face to report what happened and people were invited to give background against the priest.

In addition, the Jesuits reported that in 2012 an investigation was carried out that "determined the culpability of Guzmán , who, at present, is serving the sentence imposed. This includes the prohibition of contact with minors and the restriction to publicly exercise the priestly ministry , "adding that this situation" was not made public by express request of one of the complainants."

"We reiterate our commitment to act with the utmost diligence, collaborating with the competent civil and ecclesiastical institutions, by virtue of the care and transparency with the victims of abuse," they remarked.]

Victim Statements at Nassar Sentencing - Live Stream and Previous Days

DETROIT (MI)
ClickOnDetroit.com

January 23, 2018

Lansing, Mich. - The sentencing for former sports physician Larry Nassar will continue Tuesday morning in Lansing. Watch it live here.

View statements from previous days:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Make Pres Safe

SAN JOSE (CA)
Make Pres Safe

January 22, 2018

[Note: Includes a petition, a timeline, and links to sources.]

Help Stop Decades of Sexual Misconduct at Presentation High School

The decisions by past and present Presentation High School administrators to ignore the laws designed to protect students from predators have resulted in the molestation and abuse of young girls entrusted to their care. Throughout the years, numerous teachers quit the school in protest, and suspected predators seemed immune to consequences even though administrators knew they were the target of sexual abuse complaints. Even today, PHS administrators refuse to accept responsibility for their actions or apologize to victims.

Obispo Barros debe renunciar

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Cooperativa

>>>Bishop Barros must resign

January 23, 2018

By Sergio Bitar

Finalizada la visita del Papa en Chile ¿cuál es el diagnóstico que hará la iglesia chilena?, ¿qué conclusiones extraerá el Vaticano? Aunque no parece aconsejable intervenir en los temas internos de la iglesia, la visita del Papa la trasciende. Es un tema público.

Pensé y pienso que esta visita era una oportunidad para que los progresistas escucharan sus planteamientos sociales y políticos. Los pensamientos predicados por el Papa inspiran a muchas personas que comparten los valores de inclusión social y solidaridad, sustentabilidad ambiental, participación ciudadana y diversidad cultural.

Resultó decepcionante que esos planteamientos fueran casi silenciados por un manejo tan poco inteligente. Reapareció nuevamente una iglesia chilena que pone en primer plano los temas sexuales en lugar de los temas culturales, sociales y políticos.

[Google Translation: After the Pope's visit to Chile, what is the diagnosis of the Chilean church? What conclusions will the Vatican draw? Although it does not seem advisable to intervene in the internal issues of the church, the Pope's visit transcends it. It is a public issue.

I thought and I think that this visit was an opportunity for the progressives to listen to their social and political proposals. The thoughts preached by the Pope inspire many people who share the values ​​of social inclusion and solidarity, environmental sustainability, citizen participation and cultural diversity.

It was disappointing that these approaches were almost silenced by such an unintelligent management. A Chilean church reappeared that puts sexual issues in the foreground instead of cultural, social and political issues.

The behavior of Bishop Barros, questioned by members of the church, also receives the disapproval of the laity. Barros boasted of the support of the Curia and this hurt the feeling of thousands of Chileans.

Nor was the Pope's stiff affirmation so supportive. One wonders who are the advisors that lead him to express himself in that way. The image of many brave priests and nuns, true shepherds, who deserve the respect of all, was damaged.

Undoubtedly there is a serious distancing of a part of the leadership of the Catholic Church and the feeling of Chilean citizenship. The same thing happens to political parties.

The difference is that, in the case of parties, it is spoken directly, sometimes the feeling of the majority is collected and the resignation of those who cause such damage is requested.

The Church is not immune to the obsolescence of certain ideas and behaviors, in a rapidly changing world, where people are more empowered, are more educated and aware, seek to be heard and establish a less vertical, closer relationship.

Pope Francis is making a great effort and has shown leadership to renew. His recognition of the error that meant asking for "proofs" is a gesture of humility.

But that is not enough if each national church is not updated and in our case, the Chilean Church.

If before there was a small group of questioners from Bishop Barros today there is a feeling of generalized disapproval, which will not leave him alone while he maintains that task. When performing public projection functions, it is not proceeded like a court of justice that fails after years, based on evidence. The general consequences are measured in society and in institutions. B ien har ed the bishop to resign to overcome this impasse.

I add to these words the strongest condemnation of criminals who burn churches. It is unacceptable and these facts can not go unnoticed, however intense the controversy that arose after the papal visit.]

Pope partially apologizes to Chilean abuse victims, but still backs controversial bishop

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

January 23, 2018

By Rick Noack

It was supposed to be an apology tour, but Pope Francis's Chile visit drew unexpected ire last week after the head of the Catholic Church came to the support of Juan Barros, a bishop accused of covering up sexual abuse committed by a priest named Fernando Karadima. The remarks came at the end of a visit that was intended to ease tensions between the church and Karadima's victims.

On Monday, the pope apologized for previous remarks in which he had demanded evidence from Barros’s accusers, now saying that his words must have come across as a “slap in the face” of victims.

Despite his self-criticism, the pope stood by Barros and also warned accusers that they may be found guilty of slander if they continued to make public statements without being able to provide evidence.

Smyllum resident wants church held responsible for abuse

GLASGOW (SCOTLAND)
BBC

January 23, 2018

Leon Carberry spoke to BBC Scotland via Skype after giving evidence to the inquiry
A retired police officer has called for the Catholic Church to be held responsible for the sexual and physical abuse he suffered at a Lanarkshire orphanage during the 1950s.

Leon Carberry said he was regularly beaten and humiliated by a nun at the Smyllum Park home in Lanark.

He also claimed that a man who worked there made him perform a sex act.

Mr Carberrry said nuns lied to him about his brother's death and he still does not know where he is buried.

The former policeman, who has waived his right to anonymity, was giving evidence to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry via video link from Australia.

His brother David died aged four while living at Smyllum in 1955.

In an interview with BBC Scotland after giving evidence, Mr Carberry said physical abuse was administered either by using straps, a hairbrush or a stick during exercise periods.

Pope apologises to sex abuse victims but repeats defence of bishop accused of protecting priest

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Telegraph

January 22, 2018

Pope Francis apologised for comments he made about victims of paedophile clergy during his trip to South America, but repeated his defence of a bishop accused of protecting a predatory priest.

The Pope issued the partial mea culpa on board the plane that flew him back to Rome after a grueling week-long trip to Chile and Peru.

During his visit to Chile, he had insisted that there was no evidence that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in keeping quiet about the sexual abuse carried out by a priest, the Rev. Fernando Karadima.

The Pope sharply told journalists: "The day I see proof against Bishop Barros, then I will talk. There is not a single piece of evidence against him. It is all slander. Is that clear?"

Former Catholic priest, acquitted of abuse, granted custody of son

BIRMINGHAM (AL)
AL.com

January 22, 2018

By Greg Garrison

A former EWTN priest and TV personality found not guilty of child sexual abuse in 2016 has been granted custody of his 9-year-old son.

David Stone, 57, hosted a talk show for youth from 2001-2007 on EWTN. While working at EWTN he fathered a child with an EWTN employee, Christina Presnell. The child was born in 2008.

Stone, formerly known as Father Francis Mary Stone when he hosted the TV show "Life on the Rock," was suspended from his religious order and placed on long-term leave of absence at EWTN after it became known he had fathered the child. Presnell was fired from EWTN.

After the child spent a weekend visitation with Stone in 2012, the child complained to his mother that his father hurt him, according to testimony by Presnell. Presnell then refused to allow the next scheduled visitation.

Stone was arrested in 2013 and charged with sexual abuse of a minor under 12. Stone testified and his attorneys argued that false allegations were being used to gain advantage in a custody dispute between Stone and Presnell.

Pope Apologizes to Abuse Victims but Again Doubts Them

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

January 22, 2018

By Jason Horowitz

Rome - For years, victims of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church and their advocates have asked when Pope Francis would adjust his blind spot on an issue that has caused enormous damage to Catholics, the reputation of the church and the pontiffs who preceded him.

But the pope’s remarks overnight Sunday as he returned from a trip to Chile and Peru — apologizing for demanding proof of abuse from victims in Chile even as he continued to doubt them — prompted concerns that he just does not understand.

“There was great hope that this pope understood — he ‘got it’ — but if that were true we would not have his words today,” said Marie Collins, a survivor of abuse who last year resigned in frustration from the pope’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

“Anyone who was still clinging to the hope there would be real change in the church to the issue of abuse and this change would be led by Pope Francis will have lost that hope today,” Ms. Collins said.

At this point in his papacy, some supporters worry that the pope’s lackluster record on holding the church hierarchy accountable for its role in the abuse crisis could threaten to erode the moral authority and global popularity necessary for the pope to make progress on priorities in and out of the church.

Presentation High Alums Launch Website to Tell Stories of Sexual Misconduct in Their Own Words

SAN JOSE (CA)
NBC Bay Area - KNTV

January 22, 2018

By Michael Bott and Vicky Nguyen

A website launched by graduates of Presentation High School, a San Jose Catholic school for girls, details a timeline of sexual harassment and abuse allegations going all the way back to 1984

Graduates of a prestigious San Jose Catholic school for girls who say they were victims of sexual misconduct have launched a website to tell their stories in their own words.

The "Make Pres Safe" website includes a timeline spanning three decades that details each allegation of misconduct at Presentation High School. The site, which includes the personal statements of many accusers, blames school administrators for failing to report many of the allegations to police or Child Protective Services when they were brought to the school’s attention.

The driving forces behind the website are Kathryn Leehane and Cheryl Hodgin Marshall, who graduated from the school nearly three decades ago and say school administrators failed to act when they came to them with separate stories of abuse. They worked with San Jose attorney Robert Allard and his team of investigators, who have not sued the school but are actively looking into multiple claims of sexual misconduct.

Leehane, whose essay in the Washington Post last year recounted how she was groped, kissed, and shown a pornographic photo by Spanish teacher John Fernandez in 1990, was the first Presentation graduate to go public with her story. Her essay, which she says was meant to bring personal closure, ended up sparking a social media firestorm and prompted other graduates to come forward with their own stories. Leehane said she told current Principal Mary Miller about what happened to her on separate occasions in 1993 and 1994, but police were never notified, and the teacher was allowed to teach at the school until he retired in 2004. Fernandez died of cancer in 2015.

January 22, 2018

Contrite pope apologises for sexual abuse comments that 'wounded many'

EN ROUTE TO VATICAN CITY
Reuters

January 22, 2018

By Philip Pullella

Pope Francis, in an extremely rare act of self-criticism, apologised to victims of clerical sex abuse on Sunday, acknowledging he had “wounded many” in comments defending a Chilean bishop who is under scrutiny.

But while the pope said he was sorry for his choice of words and tone of voice when he testily answered a reporter’s question last Thursday in Chile, he also said he was certain that the prelate, Juan Barros, was innocent.

“I have to apologise,” an unusually contrite pope told reporters aboard the plane returning to Rome from a week-long trip to Chile and Peru, saying he realised he had “wounded many people who were abused”.

“I apologise to them if I hurt them without realising it, but it was a wound that I inflicted without meaning to,” he said. “It pains me very much.”

In the latest twist to a saga that has gripped Chile, Francis said Barros, who is accused of protecting a notorious paedophile, would remain in his place in the diocese of Osorno because there currently was no credible evidence against him.

Pope apologizes to sex abuse victims, defends accused Chilean bishop

EN ROUTE TO VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

January 22, 2018

By Junno Arocho Esteves

Pope Francis apologized to victims of clergy sex abuse, saying he unknowingly wounded them by the way he defended a Chilean bishop accused of covering up abuse by his mentor.

Speaking with journalists on his flight to Rome from Lima, Peru, Jan. 21, the pope said he only realized later that his words erroneously implied that victims' accusations are credible only with concrete proof.

"To hear that the pope says to their face, 'Bring me a letter with proof,' is a slap in the face," the pope said.

Pope Francis was referring to a response he gave in Iquique, Chile, Jan. 18 when local reporters asked about his support for Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, given accusations that the bishop may have been aware of abuse perpetrated by his former mentor, Father Fernando Karadima. The priest was sentenced to a life of prayer and penance by the Vatican after he was found guilty of sexually abusing boys.

Pope regrets word choice on abuse in Chile, but stands by contested bishop

EN ROUTE TO VATICAN CITY
Crux

January 22, 2018

By Inés San Martín

Returning to Rome from a sometimes contentious six-day trip to Latin America, Pope Francis said he regretted the language he used along the way regarding sexual abuse victims who have accused a Chilean bishop of covering up their abuse, but did not back down from his support for that bishop.

Francis said he’s convinced of the innocence of Chilean Bishop Juan Barros, who has been accused by survivors of covering up cases of sexual abuse by infamous Chilean priest Fernando Karadima, who was found guilty by a church process in 2011.

Barros “will stay in his post, I cannot condemn him without evidence,” the pope said during the flight from Peru to Rome.

“I personally am convinced that he’s innocent,” Francis said.

The pope did, however, express regret for how he made that point in Chile.

Pope Francis asks forgiveness from sexual abuse victims but reaffirms support for Bishop Barros

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

January 22, 2018

By Gerard O’Connell

In an hour-long press conference on the plane from Lima to Rome, Jan. 21, Pope Francis asked pardon from the victims of sexual abuse by priests or religious for his use of words that offended them in his remarks about Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, Chile. But he also reaffirmed his support for Bishop Barros, saying he has not received any evidence against him.

On Thursday Jan. 18, the pope told reporters on a plane flight in Chile, “The day they bring me proof against the bishop, then I will speak. There is not a single proof against him. This calumny! Is that clear?” Francis stated.

Responding to a question from a Chilean journalist today, Pope Francis spoke of “what the abused feel” regarding his remark.

“I must ask pardon [from them] because the word ‘proof’ has hurt many of the abused, and [what] I meant to ask for was ‘evidence.’ I ask forgiveness. It’s a hurt [caused] without wishing it,” Pope Francis said.

“I know that there are many abused people who cannot bring proof; they do not have it. Or they cannot [produce it], or at times they have it, but they are ashamed and that stops them, and they suffer in silence. The drama of abused persons is tremendous.”

After Pope Francis outrages sex abuse victims, top adviser questions pope’s words

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

January 20, 2018

By Michael J. O’Loughlin

Seán O’Malley, the top adviser to Pope Francis on issues of clerical sexual abuse, weighed in on remarks made by the pope this week defending a controversial Chilean bishop that caused outrage to victims of sexual abuse. The Boston archbishop expressed support for victims and warned against using language that casts doubt on their stories.

"It is understandable that Pope Francis’ statements yesterday in Santiago, Chile were a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy or any other perpetrator,” the Boston archbishop said in a statement released Saturday morning. “Words that convey the message ‘if you cannot prove your claims then you will not be believed’ abandon those who have suffered reprehensible criminal violations of their human dignity and relegate survivors to discredited exile.”

Cardinal O’Malley said his “prayers and concern will always be with the survivors and their loved ones.”

Dismissive words on abuse scandal cast pall over pope’s trip

LIMA (PERU)
Associated Press

En español: Unas polémicas declaraciones empañan la gira papal por Sudamérica

January 22, 2018

By Christine Armario

Pope Francis ventured into the Amazon to demand rights for indigenous groups, decried the scourge of corruption afflicting the region’s politics and denounced a culture of “machismo” in which violence against women is too often tolerated.

Yet his latest visit to South America is likely to be remembered most for 27 dismissive words that sparked outrage among Chileans already angry over a notorious clerical abuse scandal and haunted the rest of his trip.

“That is the enigma of Pope Francis,” Anne Barrett Doyle of the online abuse database BishopAccountability.org said Sunday. “He is so bold and compassionate on many issues but he is an old school defensive bishop when it comes to the sex abuse crisis.”

Even before Francis landed in Chile for the first leg of his two-country trip, the pontiff’s visit seemed ripe for contention. Vandals fire-bombed three churches in the capital of Santiago, warning in a leaflet that “the next bombs will be in your cassock,” and an angry group protesting the high cost of hosting him briefly occupied the Nunciature where he would sleep.

Guam archbishop denies allegations of rape, sexual abuse

HAGATNA (GUAM)
Catholic News Agency via Crux

January 21, 2018

An embattled archbishop in Guam has denied an allegation that he raped his nephew nearly 20 years ago, when his accuser was a teen.

Mark Apuron, nephew of Guam’s Archbishop Anthony Apuron, filed a lawsuit Jan. 10, claiming that his uncle raped him in a Church bathroom in 1989 or 1990. This is the fifth lawsuit to accuse the archbishop of sexual abuse of minors during his time as a pastor and bishop.

“God is my witness: I deny all allegations of sexual abuse made against me, including this last one,” wrote Apuron in a Jan. 18 statement, according to Guam Pacific Daily News.

“All of these allegations have been mentored and promoted by the same source and this one seems particularly timed to influence the verdict of the Vatican trial conducted by the Holy See, as a last resort out of fear that I may be exonerated,” he continued.

In addition to this claim, Apuron faces four other accusations from former altar boys, who charged the archbishop with abuse in the 1970s when he served as a parish priest in Agat. The first allegations against the archbishop were made public in May 2016. Mark’s attorney, David Lujan, said that his client was too ashamed and embarrassed to tell his family about the alleged abuse until recently.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley chastises Pope Francis on Chile abuse: Says comments ‘abandon’ survivors

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

January 21, 2018

By Brian Dowling

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, a top adviser to Pope Francis, rebuked the pontiff’s disparaging remarks targeting Chilean abuse claims, saying the comments “abandon” survivors of the church’s sex abuse crisis to “discredited exile.”

In a strongly worded statement rebuking Francis’ comments, Boston’s archbishop said the remarks were clearly “a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy or any other perpetrator.”

“Words that convey the message ‘if you cannot prove your claims then you will not be believed’ abandon those who have suffered reprehensible criminal violations of their human dignity and relegate survivors to discredited exile,” O’Malley said in a statement.

Francis was leaving Chile Thursday when he accused victims of the country’s most notorious pedophile priest of having slandered another bishop, Juan Barros, by claiming Barros covered up the abuse from the Rev. Fernando Karadima.

Cardinal O’Malley speaks out against pope’s comment to sex abuse victims in Chile

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

January 20, 2018

By Evan Allen

Cardinal Sean O’Malley issued a strongly worded statement Saturday reproaching Pope Francis for the pontiff’s accusations in Chile last week that victims of a pedophile priest in that country were slandering a bishop they say covered up the case.

“Words that convey the message ‘if you cannot prove your claims then you will not be believed’ abandon those who have suffered reprehensible criminal violations of their human dignity and relegate survivors to discredited exile,” O’Malley said.

Local abuse victims and advocates, however, said that it is action, not talk, that is important, and the cardinal’s words did not go far enough.

“People in the survivor community are not looking for prayers and words of sympathy,” said Phil Saviano, an abuse victim who founded the New England chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “We’re looking for them to actually do something.”

Cardinal rebukes pope over Chile ‘slander’ comments on abuse

LIMA (PERU)
Associated Press via Washington Post

January 20, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis’ top adviser on clerical sex abuse implicitly rebuked the pontiff for having accused Chilean victims of slander, saying Saturday that his words were “a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse.”

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, said he couldn’t explain why Francis “chose the particular words he used.” He said such expressions had the effect of abandoning victims and relegating them to “discredited exile.”

In an extraordinary effort at damage control, O’Malley insisted in a statement that Francis “fully recognizes the egregious failures of the church and its clergy who abused children and the devastating impact those crimes have had on survivors and their loved ones.”

Francis set off a national uproar upon leaving Chile on Thursday when he accused victims of the country’s most notorious pedophile priest of having slandered another bishop, Juan Barros. The victims say Barros knew of the abuse by the Rev. Fernando Karadima but did nothing to stop it — a charge Barros denies.

Pope Lauds Peru’s Young, but Stays Silent on Church Sex Abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

January 21, 2018

By Marcelo Rochabrún and Andrea Zarate

On the last day of his visit here, Pope Francis told Peruvians that they lived in a “sainted land” and commended young people for keeping their faith in the church.

But he did not address the elephant in the room: a scandal involving a powerful Roman Catholic group here, where dozens of former members say they were physically and sexually abused after dedicating their lives to prayer and worship.

The issue of sexual abuse in the church has loomed large over Francis’ weeklong visit to Chile and Peru, where he discussed the plights of indigenous populations in the jungle and of those recovering from catastrophic flooding in Peru’s sandy desert coast.

Francis did confront the issue of abuse last week in Chile, where accusations against the Rev. Fernando Karadima, a pedophile priest, have damaged the church. But after first issuing an apology for the abuse, Francis called accusations of a cover-up by a bishop “all slander.” Those remarks prompted a rare rebuke from Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, who is charged with working to improve the church’s handling of child abuse cases.

In Peru, Francis was mute on the subject.

January 21, 2018

El papa Francisco en tierra de nadie

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times (en español)

>>>Pope Francis in no man's land

January 21, 2018

By Rafael Gumucio

Santiago - Este es un país muy desconfiado. La presidenta Michelle Bachelet se lo advirtió al papa Francisco no bien pisó Chile el 15 de enero. Cuatro días de visita por el centro, sur y extremo norte del país no bastaron para disipar esa desconfianza. En Chile, Francisco se convirtió en la prueba viva de que no hay nada más estrecho que el ancho camino del medio: en su breve pontificado ha logrado defraudar las esperanzas de conservadores y progresistas.

En cinco años, el papa ha visitado países de mayoría musulmana, judía, protestante, y ateos, todos ellos con razonable público y sin demasiados escándalos. En Chile enfrentaba quizás un reto mayor. Los chilenos, como muchas sociedades que han prosperado bruscamente, no solo han perdido la fe, sino que la han remplazado por un cada vez más activo anticlericalismo. Los 80 casos conocidos de abuso sexual perpetrados por miembros del clero en Chile le han dado alas a un sentimiento antirreligioso que tiene su manifestación más extrema en la quema de iglesias en el sur de Chile, presuntamente a manos de grupos mapuches.

La Iglesia chilena necesitaba un milagro de Francisco. El primer discurso del papa en el Palacio de la Moneda parecía una señal astuta y equilibrada de que había comprendido la dimensión del desafío. Francisco empezó su visita citando a Gabriela Mistral para alabar los logros de la democracia chilena. Sin demorarse ni un minuto pidió perdón a las víctimas de los abusos sexuales, usando sin eufemismo la palabra “vergüenza” para calificar lo que la Iglesia debía sentir ante la reiteración de esos casos.

[Google Translation: This is a very distrustful country. President Michelle Bachelet warned Pope Francis as soon as he stepped on Chile on January 15. Four days of visits to the center, south and far north of the country were not enough to dispel this distrust. In Chile, Francisco became the living proof that there is nothing narrower than the broad middle way: in his brief pontificate he managed to defraud the hopes of conservatives and progressives.

In five years, the pope has visited countries of Muslim, Jewish, Protestant, and atheist majority, all of them with reasonable public and without too many scandals. In Chile he faced perhaps a greater challenge. Chileans, like many societies that have prospered abruptly, not only have lost faith , but have replaced it with an increasingly active anticlericalism. The 80 known cases of sexual abuse perpetrated by members of the clergy in Chile have given wings to an anti-religious sentiment that has its most extreme manifestation in the burning of churches in southern Chile , presumably at the hands of Mapuche groups.

The Chilean Church needed a miracle from Francisco. The pope's first speech at the Palacio de la Moneda seemed a clever and balanced sign that he had understood the dimension of the challenge. Francisco began his visit by quoting Gabriela Mistral to praise the achievements of Chilean democracy. Without waiting for a minute, he apologized to the victims of the sexual abuse, using without euphemism the word "shame" to describe what the Church should feel about the repetition of those cases.

In an equally astute way, Francisco began his visit just where the one of Juan Pablo II, 31 years ago, had failed in the most resounding way. In the O'Higgins Park, the Polish Pope saw from the altar how his parishioners faced with the police of the dictatorship. His attempts to calm the crowd were useless. More than 600 people were injured in the fray. Francisco, in the same place, greeted a calm and happy crowd of more than 400,000 people. Right there, however, he finished his honeymoon with the Chileans. The television cameras caught Bishop Juan Barros Madrid among the participants of the mass , indicated by the victims of Father Karadima as a cover-up for sexual abuse.

[Display Type: Pope Francis has been unable to connect with the heart of either of the two churches that divide the heritage of St. Peter and St. Paul, the progressive and the conservative.]

The resisted bishop of Osorno suddenly took away any visibility from the pope, who confirmed again his confidence in the innocence of the prelate and his anger against anyone who doubted him. The tears that he would have shed in a private encounter with anonymous victims of the clergy's sexual abuse failed to calm the uncomfortable questions and the uncomfortable emplacements that followed him in every place where his slow walk and tired smile tried to reach him. The pope, who was supposed to come to give us his peace, ended up trying to slander anyone who dares to question Barros. An abrupt "Is that clear?" left the question settled. The Pope of simplicity was once again the authoritarian and determined Cardinal Bergoglio who so feared his Argentine Jesuit brothers.

Neither Temuco nor Iquique nor Maipú managed to fill the immense esplanades that awaited him. His use of Argentine lunfardo or his attempts to introduce juvenile jargon - he spoke of "vocational selfie " - or popular to his speeches failed to seduce more than those who were already convinced in advance. The Pope of all was, in the end, nobody's pope; the shame that he expressed feeling for sexual abuse ended up infecting his entire visit, considered by the most varied vaticanistas the most disastrous of which he has undertaken.

In Chile, the tragedy that has marked the entire papacy of Francisco, its inability to reconcile what remains of the Church of John XXIII with the still almighty Church of John Paul II, was staged with special cruelty. In the seventies and eighties the theology of liberation sowed and harvested bishops, priests, thinkers and martyrs throughout Chile. John Paul II punished with special zeal this Church of the poor organized into very active grassroots communities. Since then, the Chilean Church spent all the prestige gained in the dictatorship in trying to prevent the law of divorce, equal marriage or any type of abortion. During his visit, Francisco ignored any of these topics. The conservative hierarchy left by the Polish pope did not fail to note that signal.

For the conservatives, Francisco will always be a Jesuit more concerned with the life of women in prison than with the rights of unborn fetuses. For the progressives, however, Francisco has not ceased to be the pope who defends Bishop Barros, representative of everything that has led the people away from the churches: not only sexual abuse but a distant and courtly style that prefers to remain well with the hierarchy that calm the anxieties of their parishioners. The pope, who wants shepherds with the smell of sheep, ended up defending one that smells of expensive Vatican perfume. Francisco ended up being the face of a Church that imposes from above appointments resisted by the faithful.

The humility of the customs of this Pope does not fit his impatient and derogatory character that does not bite his tongue to condemn and that is rather more cautious when it comes to celebrating. Unable to connect with the heart of one of the two churches that divide the heritage of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, the progressive and the conservative, he has achieved what is supposed to be his land, Latin America, to be a perfect stranger.

Rafael Gumucio is a Chilean writer and directs the Institute of Humor Studies of the Diego Portales University in Santiago. His most recent novel is "The imperfect heartthrob".]

La gira en Chile del Papa se convierte en la peor de sus cinco años de pontificado

BUENOS AIRES (ARGENTINA)
Clarin

>>>The Pope's tour in Chile becomes the worst of his five years of pontificate

January 18, 2018

By Sergio Rubin

La visita tuvo menos presencia de fieles en los actos de lo que se esperaba. Los casos de pedofilia fueron gravitantes en el desánimo.

Todos los indicios preanunciaban un viaje complicado. Acaso el más complicado de todos los que Francisco realizó hasta ahora en sus casi cinco años de pontificado. Porque, a diferencia de otras visitas donde la situación política de cada país desafiaba su capacidad de maniobra, el paso por Chile implicaba críticas o, al menos, indiferencia hacia él mismo y, ante todo, hacia la propia Iglesia chilena. Y efectivamente no la tuvo fácil aquí, el país de América Latina donde menos se valora a Francisco y a la Iglesia católica, y que más fieles perdió: el acompañamiento de la gente fue claramente menor del que se esperaba, sus palabras no tuvieron el habitual impacto y tampoco se acallaron las críticas.

El contraste más evidente fue con el viaje a Colombia, en setiembre pasado: Francisco había jugado fuerte a favor de los acuerdos de paz con la guerrilla de las FARC, un asunto que divide profundamente a los colombianos (hace poco más de un año ganó por poco el rechazo a ellos) y todo llevaba a pensar que la mitad de los colombianos en cierta forma le daría la espalda. Pero su visita –más allá de la suerte de esos acuerdos- fue todo un éxito en cuanto a la respuesta popular y la atención con que se siguió sus prédica por la reconciliación. Dicho sea de paso, más de un observador la tomó como una suerte de anticipo de su mensaje a favor del cierre de la grieta en una eventual visita a su país.

[Google Translation: The visit had less presence of faithful in the acts of what was expected. The cases of pedophilia were gravitating in discouragement.

All the signs forewarned a complicated journey. Perhaps the most complicated of all that Francisco did so far in his almost five years of pontificate. Because, unlike other visits where the political situation of each country challenged its ability to maneuver, the passage through Chile implied criticism or, at least, indifference towards himself and, above all, towards the Chilean Church itself. And indeed it was not easy here, the country of Latin America where Francisco and the Catholic Church are least valued, and which most lost: the accompaniment of the people was clearly lower than expected, his words did not have the usual impact and criticisms were not silenced either.

The most obvious contrast was the trip to Colombia, last September: Francisco had played hard in favor of peace agreements with the FARC guerrillas, an issue that deeply divides Colombians (a little over a year ago he won by little the rejection to them) and everything led to think that half of the Colombians would somehow turn their backs on him. But his visit - beyond the fate of these agreements - was a success in terms of the popular response and the attention with which he followed his preaching for reconciliation. Incidentally, more than one observer took it as a sort of foretaste of his message in favor of closing the crack in an eventual visit to his country.

Now: There is not a single factor that explains why Francisco was not like in other countries. It is true that the case of abuses committed by clerics wreaked havoc especially in the image of the Chilean Church, but also in that of Francisco himself for having named in 2015 bishop of Osorno a prelate accused of covering up the abuses committed by the father Fernando Karadima - the main exponent of these crimes within the Chilean Church - given that for years he was his collaborator in a church in Santiago. But Francisco always defended with emphasis his innocence like yesterday in Iquique before the journalists: "There is not a single test against him, everything is a slander," he said.

To this we must add the blurring of the once great commitment with the poor that the Chilean Church had, in addition to having been an emblem of the struggle for human rights during the last military dictatorship.

There is no shortage of those who believe that the powerful secretary of state of the Vatican in the second half of the pontificate of John Paul II, the controversial Cardinal Angelo Sodano, was delineating a very conservative Church - and lack of leadership - since his previous visit to the country as Nuncio . And, of course, also the criticisms of the original peoples against the Catholic Church for their role in the conquest.

Finally, there is a fundamental factor: the loss of the religiosity of Chilean society, a drastic phenomenon of the last decades, which did not take place - at least with that intensity - when John Paul II was here almost 31 years ago. Contrary to Central America or Brazil, where the Catholic Church loses the faithful at the expense of evangelical churches, in Chile -although there is a certain evangelical advance- its main challenge is atheism and agnosticism. And, in this sense, it begins to "compete" with Uruguay, the least religious country in the region.

The cultural change in Chile - a country with a Catholic trajectory, unlike Uruguay - is, then, the great underlying problem of the Catholic Church and, of course, of other religions. Is it a process that will be confined to Chileans or that will encompass other peoples as young people -the less religious- reach adults and there is some economic improvement as in the trans-Andean country?

However, it should not be disregarded that Francisco gathered 400 thousand faithful in the O'Higgins park in Santiago, which captivated the most committed faithful, who had very nice gestures like marrying two crew members in mid-flight to Iquique. Perhaps the balance of the trip now requires a look in greater perspective.]

Key cardinal rebukes pope over abuse comment in rare move

TRUJILLO (PERU)
Reuters

January 20, 2018

By Philip Pullella and Caroline Stauffer

A key U.S. cardinal distanced himself on Saturday from comments by Pope Francis on sexual abuse, saying they had caused “great pain,” a remarkable move pointing to divisions in the Roman Catholic Church over how to treat accusers.

The implicit public rebuke of the pope by one of his top advisers came after two days of pointed attacks from victims and their advocates, and was another setback for Francis’ attempts to come to grips with sexual abuse in the Church.

Cardinal Sean O‘Malley of Boston said in an unusually blunt statement that “it is understandable” that the pope’s comments in Chile on Thursday were “a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy or any other perpetrator.”

* * *

O‘Malley’s statement on the pope’s choice of language said: “Words that convey the message ‘if you cannot prove your claims, then you will not be believed’ abandon those who have suffered reprehensible criminal violations of their human dignity and relegate survivors to discredited exile.”

O’Malley’s ‘rebuke’ of pope on sex abuse stirs wide reaction

DENVER (CO)
Crux

January 21, 2018

By Inés San Martín

Lima, Peru - It’s not every day that a close ally and adviser to a pope, not to mention a cardinal of the Catholic Church, distances himself from that pope. So when Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston said Saturday night it was “understandable” that Francis’s language in Chile about abuse victims accusing a bishop of a cover-up had caused “great pain,” it was bound to stir reaction.

Peter Saunders, a survivor of clerical sexual abuse and a former member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors - an advisory body created by Pope Francis in 2014, with O’Malley as its head - offered perhaps the boldest response: He wants O’Malley, not Francis, to be pope.

“Deep down I think O’Malley would like to take action, and if he were pope I think we would be seeing a different world,” he said in comments to Crux.

“But first and foremost, he is an obedient servant - to his boss the pope, not to those he serves,” Saunders said.

In an email sent to several parties on Sunday, Saunders emphasized how disappointed he is in the pope.

“Pope Francis’s attack on the victims of Karadima has lost him more friends than he can begin to imagine,” Saunders wrote, referring to the name of a Chile’s most notorious pedophile priest. “He is certainly not the man I thought he was.”

Child sex abuse inquiry to query whether Gove asked about investigation

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

January 21, 2018

By Owen Bowcott

Environment secretary’s alleged interest in inquiry into priest suspected of abuse surfaced last month

The child sex abuse inquiry is to write to Michael Gove to ask whether he attempted to find out about the release of an investigation into a priest suspected of abuse at a prominent Catholic boarding school.

The alleged interest of the former secretary of state for education in a police and local authority inquiry into the priest surfaced during evidence given to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) last month.

Gove, now the environment secretary, denies making any phone calls to the local authority in relation to the investigation. A search of education department telephone records, his office has said, can find no trace of any such contacts.

In a statement to the Guardian, IICSA said: “The Roman Catholic Church hearings are ongoing and there are a number of matters that require further investigation, including the evidence heard on 13 December 2017 in relation to the former secretary of state for education. The inquiry will be making requests for further information on this issue.”

The priest, only identified by the reference number F65, is alleged to have had “connections to some quite senior figures”. In evidence given to the inquiry on 13 December, F65 was said to have been the subject of an allegation of oral sex with a 16-year-old boy.

The Latest: Police: 1.2M turn out for Pope's last Peru Mass

BOSTON (MA)
Associated Press via Boston Herald

January 21, 2018

Photo caption: A protest banner that shows images of Pope Francis and Cardinal Sean O'Malley with a message that reads in Spanish: "Francisco, here we do have proof", hangs from a building located outside the Shrine of Our Lord of the Miracles where Francis led a mid-morning prayer, in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. Francis stirred outrage when he accused victims of Chile's most notorious pedophile priest of slander when he departed Chile on Thursday. O'Malley, Francis' top adviser on clerical sex abuse, implicitly rebuked the pontiff for having accused Chilean victims of slander, saying that his words were "a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse." (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

9:45 a.m.

The controversy over Pope Francis' accusations of slander against victims of Chile's most notorious pedophile priest has followed him to Peru.

A banner hanging from a building near the Lima church where Francis prayed on Sunday read "Francis, here there is proof" and featured a photo of the disgraced founder of a Peru-based Catholic lay movement, Sodalitium Christianae Vitae.

The Vatican last week took over the movement after Peruvian prosecutors announced they wanted to arrest the founder, Luis Figari. An independent investigation found Figari sodomized recruits and forced them to fondle him and one another, liked to watch them "experience pain, discomfort and fear," and humiliated them in front of others.

In Chile, Francis accused victims of the country's most notorious sexual abuser, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, of slandering another bishop by saying he knew of Karadima's abuse but did nothing. Francis said there was "not one shred of proof" implicating the bishop and that the accusations against him were "calumny."

The comments caused such an outcry that Francis' top sexual abuse adviser issued a highly unusual public rebuke of the pope.

Pope Wraps Latin America Trip Haunted by Chile Abuse Scandal

LIMA (PERU)
Associated Press via NBC-TV Dallas-Fort Worth

January 21, 2018

By Nicole Winfield and Christine Armario

During his seven-day trip in Chile and Peru Francis personally apologized to survivors of priests who sexually abused them

Pope Francis wrapped up his visit to Peru on Sunday by meeting with bishops and nuns, but controversy over his accusations that Chilean sex abuse victims slandered a bishop cast a shadow over what has become the most contested and violent trip of his papacy.

A day after his top adviser on sex abuse publicly rebuked him for his Chile remarks, Francis was reminded that the Vatican has faced years of criticism for its inaction over a similar sex abuse scandal in neighboring Peru.

"Francis, here there IS proof," read a banner hanging from a Lima building along his motorcade route Sunday.

The message was a reference to Francis' Jan. 18 comments in Iquique, Chile, that there was not "one shred of proof" that a protege of Chile's most notorious pedophile priest, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, knew of Karadima's abuse and did nothing to stop it. Karadima's victims have accused the bishop, Juan Barros, of complicity in the cover-up. Barros has denied the accusations, and Francis backed him by saying the victims' claims were "all calumny."

His comments sparked such an outcry that both the Chilean government and his own top adviser on abuse stepped in to publicly rebuke him — an extraordinary correction of a pope from both church and state. The criticisms were all the more remarkable because they came on the Argentina-born pontiff's home turf in Latin America.

Activistas en Perú piden cárcel para curas que cometen abusos sexuales

LIMA (PERU)
Publimetro

>>>Activists in Peru ask for jail for priests who commit sexual abuse

January 18, 2018

“La Iglesia Católica está muy implicada en la violación de menores, en encubrir esos actos y lo único que hace cuando hay denuncias es cambiar al culpable de zona”, dijo el británico Peter Saunders.

Activistas de varios países dijeron este miércoles en Perú, en la víspera de la llegada del Papa Francisco, que no basta con pedir perdón a las víctimas de abusos sexuales cometidos por sacerdotes, sino que los responsables deben ir a prisión.

“No basta que el Papa Francisco pida perdón por los abusos a los niños cometidos por los padres pederastas, sino a decir la verdad, para contribuir a hacer justicia, que los culpables vayan a la cárcel”, dijo el exsacerdote mexicano Alberto Athié, quien descubrió uno de los primeros casos de abuso del fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo, Marcial Maciel.

“Esperamos que el abusador sea sancionado, ahora que el Vaticano ha intervenido en el caso”, declaró la estadounidense Anne Barret-Doyle, quien afirmó que ha habido encubrimiento en los casos de abusos sexuales perpetrados por líderes del grupo laico católico peruano Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, intervenido por la Santa Sede hace una semana.

[Google Translation: "The Catholic Church is very involved in the rape of minors, in covering up those acts and the only thing it does when there are complaints is to change the area's guilty party," said Briton Peter Saunders.

Activists from several countries said Wednesday in Peru, on the eve of the arrival of Pope Francis , that it is not enough to apologize to victims of sexual abuse committed by priests, but that those responsible should go to prison.

"It is not enough for Pope Francis to apologize for the abuse of children committed by pedophile parents, but to tell the truth, to contribute to justice, that the guilty go to jail," said former Mexican priest Alberto Athié, who discovered one of the first cases of abuse of the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Marcial Maciel.

"We hope that the abuser will be punished, now that the Vatican has intervened in the case," said the American Anne Barret-Doyle, who affirmed that there has been a cover-up in the cases of sexual abuse perpetrated by leaders of the Peruvian Catholic lay group Sodalicio de Vida. Christian, intervened by the Holy See a week ago.

The activists, who led a crusade similar to Chile, the first stop of the papal tour, lamented in a press conference that Pope Francis asked for forgiveness of the victims of pedophilia and then participated in a mass concelebrated by the Chilean bishop Juan Barros, accused to cover up the sexual abuse of priests.

"The Catholic Church is very involved in the rape of minors, in covering up those acts and the only thing it does when there are complaints is to change the guilty party," said Briton Peter Saunders, who was a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

In the meeting with the press there was also the American lawyer Tim Law, specialized in the subject; his compatriot Denise Buchanan, author of the book Sins of the Fathers; the German Matthias Katsch, who runs an association of victims of child abuse; and the Ecuadorian Sara Oviedo.

The Ecuadorian activist said that a few months ago they sent a document to the pope asking him to separate the religious who have abused children, but "so far" have not received a response.

"That worries us all," said Oviedo.

A week ago, the Vatican intervened the Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana , founded in Peru in 1971 and extended to other countries, in the midst of a scandal over accusations of sexual abuse against four of its leaders, including its founder, the Peruvian layman Luis Fernando Figari, 70 years old.

In December, the Peruvian prosecutor's office requested preventive detention for Figari, a refugee in Rome under the protection of the Vatican, and the other three leaders.

The Pope Francisco will serve a three - day visit to Peru.]

Piden al papa Francisco investigar a clérigos acusados en Perú

LIMA (PERU)
Diario Correa

>>>Pope Francis is asked to investigate accused clerics in Peru

January 18, 2018

Además, que la iglesia debería encontrar mecanismos que permitan denunciar estos delitos

Activistas y víctimas de abusos sexuales afirmaron hoy en Lima que el papa Francisco debe "remitir a la justicia común, para que sean sancionados como corresponde", a los clérigos católicos denunciados por casos de este tipo.

"La Iglesia no puede ser responsable por personas que, en cualquier tipo de circunstancias, son unos abusadores", afirmó la ecuatoriana Sara Oviedo, exvicepresidenta del Comité de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas (ONU).

Oviedo participó en una exposición ante la prensa realizada por integrantes del grupo TAP o The Accountability Proyect (Proyecto de rendición de cuentas), un día antes del inicio de una visita oficial y apostólica del papa Francisco a Perú.

[Google Translation: In addition, that the church should find mechanisms to report these crimes

Activists and victims of sexual abuse said today in Lima that Pope Francis must "refer to common justice, to be punished as appropriate," to Catholic clerics reported by cases of this type.

"The Church can not be responsible for people who, in any type of circumstances, are abusers," said Ecuadorian Sara Oviedo , former vice president of the United Nations Human Rights Committee ( UN ).

Oviedo participated in an exhibition before the press made by members of the TAP group or The Accountability Project , a day before the beginning of an official and apostolic visit of Pope Francis to Peru .

In the presentation were the Mexican Alberto Athié , the British Peter Saunders , the German Matthias Katsch and the North Americans Tim Law , Denisse Buchanan and Anne Barrett Doyle .

The ex- UN official said that the victims of abuse also ask to "separate from their positions clerics who are known, or suspect, to have committed some type of abuse."

He also considered that the canon law should be modified so that these cases can no longer be considered "only as a moral violation" and that the church should find mechanisms to denounce these crimes, as well as address them in the formation of priests and education of children in reporting mechanisms.

Athié, a former priest who discovered one of the first cases of abuse perpetrated in Mexico by the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Marcial Maciel , said that the victims' denunciations "have met with a wall" in the Catholic Church.

"You have to confront the sayings, the facts and the gestures," he said before emphasizing that "forgiveness is not enough, that is a very important value, but first there is the truth."

Saunders, who joined the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors until December , reported that he was abused by two Jesuit priests 50 years ago and has not yet "been able to overcome that", although now he no longer feels "any resentment".

"It is not a matter of simply accusing the church, it is a matter of humanity that must be attacked," said the founder of the National Association for Children Abused in Children ( NAPAC ) in the United Kingdom.

Matthias Katsch , co-founder of an association of victims of child abuse, said he participates in these activities "as a survivor", since he was abused in a Jesuit school.

"We have the opportunity to show people that they have been victims in the past that we have opportunities today," he said before emphasizing that the Catholic Church has a "responsibility" as a "global institution that trains children."

Denisse Buchanan , author of "Sins of the Fathers" , said she was raped at 17 by a priest in Jamaica, who became pregnant and then miscarried, so he emphasized that "the clerical abuse has to stop", and that leaves "a scar for a lifetime".

Barret Doyle added, meanwhile, that in Peru they have to deepen investigations of cases such as those of the Catholic organization Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, which came to light after the publication in 2015 of the book "Mitad monjes, mitad soldados" , of the Peruvian journalists Pedro Salinas and Paola Ugaz .

He considered that, in addition to the intervention of Sodalicio announced by the Pope last week, he could ask that the founder of that group, Luis Figari, who is currently staying in Rome, be extradited to Peru.

The activist remarked that the denunciations about the Legionaries of Christ, in Mexico; Karadima, in Chile, or Sodalicio , in Peru, "these are cases of victims with economic means" .

"We have not yet heard of cases of poor victims, and the poor are especially vulnerable," he concluded.]

Cardinal O'Malley: Pope caused 'great pain' for abuse survivors in Chile

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

January 20, 2018

By Josh McElwee

Trujillo, Peru - Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley, one of Pope Francis' key advisors on clergy sexual abuse, acknowledged Jan. 20 that the pontiff's defense of a Chilean bishop accused of covering up abuse was "a source of great pain" for survivors.

In an unusually blunt statement from a church prelate in response to a controversial action of a pope, the cardinal also said that expressions of doubt about survivors' testimony "abandon those who have suffered reprehensible criminal violations of their human dignity."

O'Malley is responding to Francis' defense of Osorno, Chile Bishop Juan Barros Madrid, who is accused of not reporting abuse perpetrated by a fellow priest in the 1980s and '90s.

Questioned Jan. 18 by reporters about Barros during a visit to Chile, the pontiff called the charges "calumny" and said: "There is not one piece of evidence against him."

Francis' words enraged the abuse survivor community and many Chilean Catholics, as three survivors have testified that Barros witnessed Fr. Fernando Karadima abusing them. Abuse tracking website BishopAccountability.org said the pope had "turned back the clock to the darkest days of this crisis."

O’Malley: ‘Great pain’ from pope’s abuse comments ‘understandable’

DENVER (CO)
Crux

January 20, 2018

In a remarkably candid statement from the man named in 2014 to head Pope Francis’s own Vatican commission dedicated to fighting clerical sexual abuse, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston on Saturday said it’s “understandable” that the pontiff’s language on the crisis the day before had caused “great pain.”

Those comments, O’Malley said, may create the impression that the pope would “abandon those who have suffered reprehensible criminal violations of their human dignity, and relegate survivors to discredited exile.”

In general, it’s unusual for a cardinal to distance himself from a papal statement in such a fashion, especially someone perceived as being close to Francis such as O’Malley.

At the same time, O’Malley, President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and also a member of the pope’s “C9” council of cardinal advisers from around the world, affirmed Francis’s sincerity in coming to grips with the abuse scandals.

“Pope Francis fully recognizes the egregious failures of the Church and its clergy who abused children, and the devastating impact those crimes have had on survivors and their loved ones,” he said.

Papal adviser Cardinal Sean O'Malley rebukes Pope Francis for abuse comments

BONN (GERMANY)
Deutsche Welle

January 21, 2018

Pope Francis said during his trip to Chile that allegations a bishop there had known about sexual abuse were "slander." Boston's archbishop says those words were "a great source of pain for survivors of sexual abuse."

The Roman Catholic Church's chief adviser on clerical sexual abuse broke ranks with Pope Francis on Saturday after the pontiff accused Chilean abuse victims of slander.

In a rare public rebuke, Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston said Pope Francis's comments during a visit to Chile were "a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy or any other perpetrator."

O'Malley, appearing to engage in damage control after strong reactions in Chile, said Pope Francis "fully recognizes the egregious failures of the church and its clergy who abused children and the devastating impact those crimes have had on survivors and their loved ones."

‘Calumny,’ yes, but the right object?

WORCESTER (MA)
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

January 20, 2018

I had to look up the word “calumny” while reading about Pope Francis’ disastrous trip to Chile, where he angered victims of clergy sexual abuse by defending a bishop accused of covering up the crimes of a fellow priest.

“There is not one shred of proof against him,” the pope told a reporter who asked about Bishop Juan Barros last week. “It’s all calumny. Is that clear?”

Crystal, Your Eminence. For the record, the word “calumny” means “the making of false and defamatory statements in order to damage someone’s reputation; slander.” According to the Oxford English Dictionary, synonyms include “character assassination” and “evil-speaking.”

Calumny. Let that word sink it. That’s how the pope described the credible claims of victims who insist that Juan Barros did nothing to stop the Rev. Fernando Karadima from abusing dozens of minors over a decades-long period starting in the 1980s. Karadima is a notorious disgraced priest who served in the Chilean city of Osorno until he was dismissed in 2011.

His victims say Barros, Karadima’s protégé, knew about the priest’s abuse, with one man even claiming that Barros was present when Karadima groped him and another boy. Yet Barros remained silent and never reported it.

With what we know about the clergy sex scandal, is that really so hard to believe? Even here in Worcester, and in Boston and elsewhere, there was a clear pattern that bishops and clergy were aware that children were being abused by priests, yet they did nothing. But even now, rather than speak for the victims of abuse whom the pope has long purported to defend, he instead accused them of slander.

Scandals Swirl Around Pope Francis: Sex Abuse, Child Porn, Cocaine and Corruption

UNITED STATES
Open Tabernacle

January 19, 2018

By Betty Clermont

In just the latter half of 2017, over a dozen scandals – with hints of more to come – drew close to the pope but were mostly ignored by the U.S. media.

July 3 – Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer accused of sex abuse cover-up.

Pope Francis appointed Ladaria as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican department that addresses cases of clergy sexual abuse, on June 30. Ladaria had previously served as secretary, the second highest official.

Three days later, Ladaria was accused of covering up for Fr. Gianni Trotta. “The congregation received complaints against Trotta in 2009 and three years later found him guilty of sexually abusing minors, demoting him from the priesthood but failing to inform the Italian authorities …. Ladaria wrote to the bishop of Foggia in 2012 instructing him not to divulge the reasons why Trotta had been stripped of his priesthood “so as to avoid scandal.”

Trotta continued to dress as a priest and became the coach of a youth soccer team.

Cardinal O’Malley: Pope’s words ‘a source of great pain’ for abuse survivors

BOSTON (MA)
Catholic News Agency

January 20, 2018

The chairman of the Vatican’s commission on sexual abuse has said that recent comments from Pope Francis were painful and alienating to survivors of clerical sexual abuse.

"It is understandable that Pope Francis’ statements yesterday in Santiago, Chile were a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy or any other perpetrator,” said Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, in a Jan. 20 statement.

The statement refers to a comment made by Pope Francis to a Chilean reporter Jan. 18. The Pope was asked about Bishop Juan Barros, a Chilean accused by four victims of clerical sexual abuse of colluding with their abuser to cover up his crimes. Barros, who has maintained his innocence, has been a subject of controversy since his 2015 appointment to lead the Diocese of Osorno.

“The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I’ll speak," Pope Francis told the reporter. "There is not one shred of proof against him. It’s all calumny. Is that clear?”

O’Malley said that “not having been personally involved in the cases that were the subject of yesterday’s interview I cannot address why the Holy Father chose the particular words he used at that time.”

Statement by Cardinal O’Malley

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

January 20, 2018

Statement by Cardinal Sean O'Malley

Cardinal O’Malley in Boston released a statement in response to comments by Pope Francis in Chile.

It is understandable that Pope Francis’ statements yesterday in Santiago, Chile were a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy or any other perpetrator. Words that convey the message “if you cannot prove your claims then you will not be believed” abandon those who have suffered reprehensible criminal violations of their human dignity and relegate survivors to discredited exile.

Not having been personally involved in the cases that were the subject of yesterday’s interview I cannot address why the Holy Father chose the particular words he used at that time. What I do know, however, is that Pope Francis fully recognizes the egregious failures of the Church and it’s clergy who abused children and the devastating impact those crimes have had on survivors and their loved ones.

Accompanying the Holy Father at numerous meetings with survivors I have witnessed his pain of knowing the depth and breadth of the wounds inflicted on those who were abused and that the process of recovery can take a lifetime. The Pope’s statements that there is no place in the life of the Church for those who would abuse children and that we must adhere to zero tolerance for these crimes are genuine and they are his commitment.

January 20, 2018

Paedophile ex-priest ‘sorry’ for abusing four boys

EDINBURGH (SCOTLAND)
The Scotsman

January 20, 2018

By Chris Marshall

A former priest convicted of sexually abusing boys in his care has expressed regret for his “abhorrent” crimes.

Bernard Traynor, 64, was convicted of six charges of indecent assault in 1995 for abuse carried out against four boys in the 1970s while he was a trainee priest helping out at a children’s home in Newcastle.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry heard that the care of the children had been arranged in Scotland.

Traynor said it had been “totally wrong” that he had been allowed to be a house parent at the St Vincent’s home without training or proper supervision.

Asked about the abuse, Traynor said: “Its abhorrent to me now that I could do that. I don’t in any way feel proud for what I’ve done.”

Pope’s Defense of Chilean Bishop in Sex Abuse Scandal Causes Outrage

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

January 19, 2018

By Pascale Bonnefoy and Austin Ramzy

Leer en español: El papa llama ‘calumnia’ a las críticas de que un obispo encubre abusos

Iago, Chile - A number of Chilean Catholics reacted with disappointment and anger on Friday, a day after Pope Francis spoke in defense of a bishop who they say protected a pedophile priest. The remarks, made on Thursday just before Francis left Chile for Peru, upended his efforts to rehabilitate the Catholic Church’s reputation while visiting South America.

Francis told reporters Thursday there was not a shred of evidence against Bishop Juan Barros Madrid, who victims of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, Chile’s most notorious priest, have accused of being complicit in his crimes.

“The day someone brings me proof against Bishop Barros, then I will talk,” Francis said before celebrating Mass outside the northern Chilean city of Iquique. “But there is not one single piece of evidence. It is all slander. Is that clear?”

The pope’s comments set off a storm in Chile, raising questions about his commitment to repairing the damage from sexual abuse scandals and improving the decline in the church’s image and following in the traditionally devout country.

Benito Baranda, coordinator of the pope’s visit to Chile, told a radio station in Santiago that Bishop Barros “should have ceased to be bishop a long time ago.” He added: “The damage he is inflicting on the church is big.”

Clergy Abuse Advocates Fear Pope Francis Is Making It Harder for Victims to Speak Up

NEW YORK (NY)
Huffington Post

January 19, 2018

By Carol Kuruvilla

When Joelle Casteix heard Pope Francis accuse sex abuse victims in Chile of slander, the pontiff’s words hit close to home.

Francis told reporters Thursday that he hasn’t seen any convincing evidence against Chile’s Bishop Juan Barros Madrid, whom victims claim protected a pedophile priest.

“The day someone brings me proof against Bishop Barros, then I will talk,” Francis said during a papal trip to Chile, according to The New York Times. “But there is not one single piece of evidence. It is all slander. Is that clear?”

Casteix, a California native and advocate for abuse victims, knows what it’s like to share a vulnerable story of sexual abuse and to have that story questioned. She is herself a survivor of abuse within the Roman Catholic Church. From 1986 to 1988, she was abused by a choir director at Santa Ana’s Mater Dei High School, in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange. By the time the abuse ended, she said, the teacher had left her pregnant and with a sexually transmitted disease. She was only 17.

It wasn’t until 2005 that Casteix and other survivors in her area finally had access to documents the diocese had kept about sexual abusers in its midst. The documents, obtained as part of a $100 million settlement between the diocese and 90 alleged abuse victims, showed how officials had protected priests and teachers who molested children.

Sexual abuse allegations against former local priest confirmed

EXCELSIOR SPRINGS (MO)
Excelsior Springs Standard

January 19, 2018

A December notice from The Catholic Key, a newspaper published by the Diocese of Kansas City—St. Joseph, announced that sexual abuse allegations against Father Sylvester James Hoppe have been confirmed by the Diocese.

According to the Diocese, this allegation marks the seventh confirmed claim against Hoppe by the Roman Catholic Church, and two additional lawsuits claiming childhood sexual abuse against Hoppe were settled by the Diocese in 2008. The most recent claim dates to abuse that occurred from 1953-1956.

Hoppe was ordained in 1946 at the age of 35 and he retired in June 1991 after serving in numerous communities across the Kansas City—St. Joseph Diocese. Diocesan records note Hoppe was a priest at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Excelsior Springs from 1971-1982.

To date, all substantiated allegations against Hoppe date back to the 1950s, when he was Chaplain at St. Mary’s Orphanage and State Hospital in St. Joseph, Mo. From 1951-1958, Hoppe lived on campus at the orphanage, which housed boys girls and boys. Hoppe also worked closely with the Boy Scouts of America throughout his entire career with the Church.

One After Another, Athletes Face Larry Nassar and Recount Sexual Abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

January 19, 2018

By Scott Cacciola and Christine Hauser

[With video. In the print edition, the headline reads: 'Powerful Army of Survivors' Confronts Abuser.

Lansing - Armed with pieces of paper etched with their memories of sexual abuse, they stepped forward, one by one — nearly 100 of them, with more to come.

For four full days this week, in a fluorescent-lighted courtroom here, women and girls — some of them the best gymnasts in the country, others with dreams prematurely crushed, they said, by a man who now sat in handcuffs 10 feet away — leaned into a microphone to address him, sometimes through sobs, sometimes with screams, but always with determination.

Aly Raisman, 23, who won gold medals at the past two Summer Olympics, told of late-night knocks on her hotel door while she was competing overseas, as the man, Dr. Lawrence G. Nassar, then the team doctor, arrived to abuse her.

A teammate at the 2012 London Games, Jordyn Wieber, who until Friday had not identified herself as a victim of Dr. Nassar’s, recalled the torment of the Games, where she was a part of the American team that won a gold medal but, she said, had to submit to his care under the auspices of the sport’s governing body, U.S.A. Gymnastics.

“Our bodies were all hanging by a thread in London,” she said. “Who was the doctor that U.S.A.G. sent? The doctor who was our abuser.”

Church conservatives question pope’s airborne nuptials

LIMA (PERU)
Associated Press via Washington Post

January 20, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

The honeymoon, as it were, is apparently over.

A day after Pope Francis grabbed headlines by pronouncing two flight attendants man and wife while flying 36,000 feet over Chile, the conservative Catholic commentariat on Friday questioned the legitimacy of the impromptu sacrament and warned it could cheapen the church’s marriage preparation down the line.

“Do you know what’s a ‘marriage’ ripe for annulment?” tweeted the traditionalist blog Rorate Caeli. “One celebrated apparently on a whim in an airplane whose celebrant cannot even be sure if parties are validly baptized.”

For those who missed the news, Francis on Thursday presided over what the Vatican said was the doctrinally and canonically legitimate wedding of Paula Podest and Carlos Ciuffardi, two flight attendants from LATAM flight 1250 that brought the pope, his delegation and travelling press from Santiago to the northern city of Iquique.

* * *

The surreal scene had the effect — at least temporarily — of giving Francis a bit of a reprieve after his visit to Chile was dominated by a church sex abuse scandal.

Vermont Group Part of Connecticut Priest Abuse Settlement

BURLINGTON (VT)
Associated Press via U.S. News and World Report

January 19, 2018

A Vermont-based religious order is among several Roman Catholic groups that agreed to a $900,000 settlement in an alleged priest sex-abuse case in Connecticut dating to the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The Burlington Free Press reports the Society of St. Edmund and several Roman Catholic entities in Connecticut recently agreed to split the settlement paid to 50-year-old Andrew Aspinwall, of New London.

Aspinwall, who agreed to be identified publicly, alleged he was abused by now-defrocked priest Charles Many, a Vermont native and member of the society, while he was serving as an altar boy at Sacred Heart Church in Groton.

The settlement, reached last month ahead of a trial scheduled for this month, contained no admission of wrongdoing. Aspinwall's attorney, Kelly Reardon, says Many vehemently denied any impropriety. The case was withdrawn Wednesday.

Ex-priest, diocese sued over alleged abuse

BENNINGTON (VT)
Bennington Banner

January 19, 2018

By Jim Therrien

A former priest with a history of sexually abusing boys and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, N.Y., are being sued over alleged abuse of an unnamed victim during incidents in Bennington County.

The suit was filed this week in Bennington Superior Court Civil Division by attorney Christopher Flint, of Cooper Erving & Savage, of Albany, on behalf of a victim referred to as John Doe. It seeks damages for the alleged long-term effects of incidents occurring an unspecified number of years ago when the plaintiff was a boy.

The former priest, Mark Haight, was one of several in the Albany Diocese involved in complaints of sexual abuse of minors, over which confidential settlement payments were made to victims by the diocese over a 25-year period, according to a New York Times report in 2002. At the time, the diocese had recently acknowledged that a number of settlements had been concluded.

Haight was involved in at least two settlement agreements involving complaints of sexual abuse of a minor. One settlement amount that was later made public involved a payment of $997,500, given in 1997 to an unnamed man who said he was abused by Haight over several years, beginning at age 12.

Pope Francis Accuses Bishop's Critics of Slander, Riling Sex Abuse Victims In Chile

WASHINGTON (DC)
NPR

January 19, 2018

By Bill Chappell

Pope Francis has accused victims of sexual abuse in Chile of slander, saying their attacks on a bishop who's accused of covering up the abuse amount to "calumny." The remarks triggered anger and demonstrations in Chile, where several churches have been firebombed in the past week.

On the last day of his visit to Chile, Francis set the simmering resentment some hold against the Catholic Church to a full boil with his defense of Bishop Juan Barros. The bishop has been hotly criticized ever since the pope appointed him in 2015. Barros was the protégé of Rev. Fernando Karadima, a notorious disgraced priest who served in the southern city of Osorno and who was found guilty and dismissed in 2011 for abusing dozens of minors over a decades-long period beginning in the 1980s.

Karadima became the face of the church's sexual abuse scandal in Chile. And his victims say they believe Barros knew about the priest's abuse but did nothing to stop it or report it. As recently as this week, Barros has denied witnessing any abuse.

The pope asks for forgiveness on sex abuse. But he refuses to act.

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

By Editorial Board

On a recent trip to Chile, Pope Francis apologized, once again, for clerical sex abuse, expressing the “pain and shame, shame I feel over the irreparable harm caused to children by church ministers.” He then proceeded to compound that shame by dismissing credible accusations that a Chilean bishop was complicit in hiding abuse committed by a priest who was once his mentor.

The episode was emblematic of the pope’s apparent inability to come to terms with revelations about pedophile priests and the bishops and cardinals who cover for them. “Is it fair to ask for forgiveness?” he wondered, on arriving in Chile.

Well, no, it’s not fair — not when the church has failed to fully uproot the moral rot that the abuse scandal has planted at its core.

Pope Francis, company man

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

[Title in the printed edition: Now we know which side Francis is really on.]

January 20, 2018

By Kevin Cullen

Let the record show that the promise of Pope Francis died in Santiago, Chile, on Jan. 18, in the year of our Lord 2018.

When Pope Francis slandered victims of sexual abuse, ironically by accusing those very victims of slandering a Chilean bishop who was complicit in that abuse, he confirmed what some critics have said all along, what I have always resisted embracing: Pope Francis is a company man, no better than his predecessors when it comes to siding with the institutional Roman Catholic Church against any who would criticize it or those, even children, who have been victimized by it.

I offer my hearty congratulations to His Holiness, His Eminence, or whatever self-regarding, officious title that his legion of coat holders, admirers, apologists, and enablers insist we, the great unwashed, call him. Because he has revealed himself like no one else could.

By saying he needs to see proof that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in covering up the abuse perpetrated by the Rev. Fernando Karadima, Francis has shown himself to be the Vatican’s newest Doubting Thomas. And it’s not a good look.

The pope’s outrageous slander of Karadima’s victims is all the more stunning and disgraceful because the Vatican itself had in 2011 accepted the truth of what those victims said and sentenced Karadima to what it called a lifetime of “penance and prayer” for abusing young people. Sounds like how a previous pope “punished” Cardinal Bernard Law for his dutiful coverup of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston by putting him in charge of one of the great basilicas of Rome and giving him digs in a palatial apartment where he was waited on hand and foot by servile nuns. Some punishment. Where do I sign up?

The Pope Causes More Pain for Priests’ Victims

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

January 20, 2018

By The Editorial Board

[Note: The editorial incorrectly states that Barros was made a bishop by Pope Francis. Barros was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Valparaiso in 1995; bishop of the Diocese of Iquique in 2000; and bishop of the Military Ordinariate of Chile in 2004. All of those actions were taken by Pope John Paul II. See Catholic Hierarchy on Barros. Pope Francis appointed Barros bishop of the Diocese of Osorno in 2015, after his now-famous letter to the Chilean bishops conference went awry.]

Pope Francis arrived in Chile with the right message: He was “pained and ashamed,” he said on Tuesday, about the irreparable damage abusive priests have inflicted on minors. Yet he refused to meet with victims of the country’s most nefarious sexual abuser, and when pressed about his support of a bishop linked to that priest, he dismissed the accusations as slander.

For all his professions of horror at the revelations about predatory priests whose activities were covered up by the hierarchy — and for all his other admirably enlightened and pastoral actions — it seems the pope has yet to fully appreciate that the abuse of minors is not simply a matter of a few deviant priests protected by overzealous prelates but of his church’s acceptance of a horrible violation of a most sacred trust: that of a devout and questioning youth and a spiritual guide.

Acknowledging and regretting the damage is not enough. If the Catholic Church is ever to lift the deep stain of child sex abuse, the pope must take every opportunity to reject not only clear violations but also the slightest appearance of tolerance for such behavior.

He missed that opportunity by attending the funeral last month for Cardinal Bernard Law, the powerful former archbishop of Boston who resigned after revelations that he protected abusive priests for years and became, in effect, the image of a hierarchy that concealed and thereby enabled sexual abuse. He missed it in the failure of the Vatican so far to appoint a new Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors after the commissioners’ terms expired in December.

And Pope Francis missed it again in Chile. One of Latin America’s most staunchly Catholic countries, Chile had been shaken by revelations about the sexual crimes of Fernando Karadima, once one of Chile’s most respected and influential priests. It took years for the church to act on complaints about him, but a Vatican investigation in 2011 finally found Father Karadima guilty of sexual abuse and restricted him to a life of isolated penitence. A Chilean judge later determined that the allegations against the priest were truthful, but the statute of limitations had expired.

Among those accused of turning a blind eye to Father Karadima’s behavior was a priest and longtime member of Father Karadima’s entourage, Juan Barros Madrid. Yet Pope Francis made him a bishop in 2015 and, despite protests from victims of Father Karadima and from many priests and laypeople in the diocese, Bishop Barros participated in the pope’s official ceremonies in Chile. When reporters raised the subject on Thursday, Pope Francis answered sharply that there was “not one single piece of evidence” against the bishop. “It is all slander,” he declared. “Is that clear?”

No, it is not clear.

Victims of sexual abuse may have only their tortured memories as evidence, and these have been dismissed for far too long as slander by a hierarchy intent on protecting the church’s reputation. Pope Francis has repeatedly pledged action to end the abuse and the cover-up, and the church has come a long way. But too often he and his church raise doubts that they’re fully committed.

January 19, 2018

Pope Francis shocks Chile by accusing sex abuse victims of slander

McLEAN (VA)
USA Today

January 18, 2018

By Jane Onyanga-Omara

Pope Francis has accused victims of a pedophile priest of slandering a bishop by accusing him of a cover-up of the priest’s actions.

The pope’s remarks in Chile Thursday marked a shocking end to a trip aimed at healing historic wounds from sexual abuse by priests in the country.

Francis said that until he sees proof that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in covering up the sex crimes of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, such accusations against Barros were defamatory.

“The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I’ll speak,” Francis said after a Chilean journalist asked him about Barros. “There is not one shred of proof against him. It’s all calumny. Is that clear?”

The pope’s remarks drew shock from Chileans and immediate rebuke from victims and their supporters. They said the accusers were deemed credible enough by the Vatican that it sentenced Karadima to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” for his crimes in 2011.

A Chilean judge also found the victims to be credible, saying that while she had to drop criminal charges against Karadima because too much time had passed, proof of his crimes wasn’t lacking.

Pope Francis 'slander' comment angers Chile abuse victims

LONDON (ENGLAND)
BBC

January 19, 2018

Pope Francis has triggered anger in Chile after accusing victims of a paedophile priest of slander.

Francis said there was "no proof" for their claims that abuse by Father Fernando Karadima had been covered up by another man, Bishop Juan Barros.

"There is not one single piece of proof against him (Bishop Barros). It is all slander. Is that clear?" the Pope said.

One Karadima victim said the Pope's earlier plea for forgiveness over clerical sex abuse was "empty".

Blame tough lives of priests' victims on economy, not abuse, says church

SAINT JOHN (NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA)
CBC

January 17, 2018

By Gabrielle Fahmy

Archdiocese says lawsuits over sexual assaults are 'unreasonable' and it should not have to pay compensation

The Archdiocese of Moncton continues to deny responsibility for the sexual assaults against children that its priests are accused of having committed decades ago.

In two new documents filed in court, the archdiocese says it should not have to pay compensation, whether the abuse happened or not.

It also says if victims had difficulty making a living, it is because of economic, linguistic and other factors present in New Brunswick at the time, rather than the emotional and psychological trauma they suffered.

The documents are statements of defence in response to civil lawsuits alleging abuse at the hands of former priests Yvon Arsenault and Camille Leger.

Arsenault was sent to prison for four years, after admitting to molesting young boys when he was a priest in Shediac and Collette in the 1970s.

Camille Leger died in 1991 before he was ever accused of any crimes. He was priest at Sainte-Therese-d'Avila parish in Cap Pelé from 1957 to 1980 and is estimated to have abused more than 100 boys.

Edmundites to pay up in priest sex-abuse lawsuit

BURLINGTON (VT)
Free Press

January 18, 2018

By Adam Silverman

A Colchester-based religious order is among several Roman Catholic institutions that recently settled a priest sex abuse lawsuit in Connecticut for nearly $1 million.

The court case centered on misconduct claims involving defrocked priest Charles Many, a Vermont native and St. Michael’s College graduate who helped lead parishes in Essex Junction and in Groton, Connecticut, and was a member of the Society of St. Edmund.

The society and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich in Connecticut agreed to split the $900,000 settlement paid to Andrew Aspinwall, 50, of New London, said his lawyer, Kelly Reardon. The agreement, which Aspinwall and the defendants reached on the eve of a trial that was set to begin early this month, contained no admission of wrongdoing.

Pope Accuses Sex Abuse Victims in Chile of Slandering Bishop

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

January 19, 2018

By Pascale Bonnefoy and Austin Ramzy

Santiago, Chile - Pope Francis has accused abuse victims in Chile of slandering a bishop who they say protected a pedophile priest, upending his efforts to rehabilitate the Catholic Church’s reputation while visiting South America.

Francis told reporters Thursday there was not a shred of evidence against Bishop Juan Barros Madrid, who victims of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, Chile’s most notorious priest, have accused of being complicit in his crimes.

“The day someone brings me proof against Bishop Barros, then I will talk,” Francis said before celebrating Mass outside the northern Chilean city of Iquique. “But there is not one single piece of evidence. It is all slander. Is that clear?”

The pope’s comments set off a storm in Chile, raising questions about his commitment to repairing the damage from sexual abuse scandals and improving the decline in the church’s image and following in the traditionally devout country.

“Pope Francis’ attack on the Karadima victims is a stunning setback,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, a co-director of BishopAccountability.org, a group that monitors abuse cases. “He has just turned back the clock to the darkest days of this crisis. Who knows how many victims now will decide to stay hidden, for fear they will not be believed?”

A Blot on Ireland’s Past, Facing Demolition

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

January 15, 2018

Leer en español: Irlanda se pregunta si es mejor borrar el pasado o conmemorarlo

By Ed O'Loughlinjan

[See also Gary Gannon, The Last Laundry, Broadsheet (10/25/17). The literature on the Magdalene Laundries is voluminous. Among the online resources:
Justice for Magdalenes Research
• Irish Human Rights Commission, Assessment of the Human Rights Issues Arising in Relation to the "Magdalen Laundries" (11/2010)
• Maeve O'Rourke, Submission to the United Nations Committee Against Torture, 46th Session, prepared by Justice for Magdalenes (5/2011)
State involvement in the Magdalene Laundries (Justice for Magdalenes’ principal submissions to the Inter-departmental Committee; submitted 9/18/2012; released in this redacted form 2/16/13)
• Senator Martin McAlese et al., Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee to establish the facts of State involvement with the Magdalen Laundries (2/5/2013)
• Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Statement before the Dáil on the McAleese Report (2/19/13; see also the video)
• Justice John Quirke, The Magdalen Commission Report (dated 5/2013; released 6/26/2013)
Restorative Justice Scheme (6/26/2013)
• Irish Human Rights Commission, Submission to the UN Human Rights Committee (6/2014)
• United Nations, Committee Against Torture, Concluding observations on the second periodic report of Ireland (8/10/2017)
• Peter Tyndall, Opportunity Lost, an investigation by the Ombudsman into the administration of the Magdalen Restorative Justice Scheme (11/23/2017)]

The General Post Office in Dublin, center of the 1916 rebellion against British rule, is today a shrine to Irish freedom. Three blocks to the east, on a quiet, run-down side street, stands a monument to a very different side of Irish history — though maybe not for long.

The old Gloucester Street laundry, the last of Ireland’s infamous Magdalene Laundries to shut its doors, will soon be demolished and replaced by a budget hotel and a student residence — if the City Council has its way.

Founded in the 19th century, the Gloucester Street laundry was one of around a dozen such businesses run by Roman Catholic nuns and staffed by unpaid inmates — mostly orphan girls or young women who had become pregnant outside marriage or whose families could not or would not support them — who were given to the nuns to hide them away.

Owned most recently by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of Refuge, the Gloucester Street laundry usually had around 100 workers at any one time. It took in its last new inmate — transferred from a psychiatric hospital — as recently as 1995, then closed the following year.

The Magdalene women endured many of the same hardships as the inmates of the brutal church-run “industrial schools” for delinquent or unwanted children, and the “mother and baby homes,” where unmarried pregnant women were warehoused until their children were born (and then often taken for adoption). Poor nutrition and hygiene, cold and damp lodgings and little or no medical supervision were the norm.

Pope shocks Chile by accusing sex abuse victims of slander

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via Mercury News

January 18, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis accused victims of Chile’s most notorious pedophile of slander Thursday, an astonishing end to a visit meant to help heal the wounds of a sex abuse scandal that has cost the Catholic Church its credibility in the country.

Francis said that until he sees proof that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in covering up the sex crimes of the Rev. Fernando Karadimas, such accusations against Barros are “all calumny.”

The pope’s remarks drew shock from Chileans and immediate rebuke from victims and their advocates. They noted the accusers were deemed credible enough by the Vatican that it sentenced Karadima to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” for his crimes in 2011. A Chilean judge also found the victims to be credible, saying that while she had to drop criminal charges against Karadima because too much time had passed, proof of his crimes wasn’t lacking.

“As if I could have taken a selfie or a photo while Karadima abused me and others and Juan Barros stood by watching it all,” tweeted Barros’ most vocal accuser, Juan Carlos Cruz. “These people are truly crazy, and the pontiff talks about atonement to the victims. Nothing has changed, and his plea for forgiveness is empty.”

* * *

Anne Barrett Doyle, of the online database BishopAccountability.org, said it was “sad and wrong” for the pope to discredit the victims since “the burden of proof here rests with the church, not the victims — and especially not with victims whose veracity has already been affirmed.”

“He has just turned back the clock to the darkest days of this crisis,” she said in a statement. “Who knows how many victims now will decide to stay hidden, for fear they will not be believed?”

Indeed, Catholic officials for years accused victims of slandering and attacking the church with their claims. But up until Francis’ words Thursday, many in the church and Vatican had come to reluctantly acknowledge that victims usually told the truth and that the church for decades had wrongly sought to protect its own.

January 18, 2018

CNN Prime: Un gesto necesario

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
CNN Chile

>>CNN Prime: A necessary gesture

January 10, 2018

By Mónica Rincón

[Note: Includes video of the editorial.]

No es sólo el marista Abel Pérez hoy, Karadima o el cura Tato ayer. En los últimos 15 años 80 religiosos han sido acusados de delitos sexuales.

Cometidos desde la asimetría que implica siempre el pastor frente al fiel o incluso entre el adulto y el menor.

No es sólo el abuso de confianza cometido al amparo de una sotana sino la política sistemática de parte de la Iglesia Católica tanto en Chile como en el mundo que en el mejor de los casos fue de desidia y en el peor de ocultamiento.

El marista Pérez confesó su culpa y su congregación calló por años, las autoridades eclesiásticas no creyeron a las víctimas Karadima y mucho antes por ejemplo al obispo Cox lo trasladaron a Alemania.

Por eso la visita del Papa sería un excelente momento para que se reuniera con las víctimas y les pidiera perdón a nombre de la institución que encabeza y perdón por actos propios. Como haber llamado tontos a quienes en Osorno alegaban por el obispo Barros o por haber asistido al funeral del cardenal Law acusado de encubrir abusos en Boston.

Sería la señal más potente de un Nunca Más.

[Google Translation: It is not just the Marist Abel Pérez today, Karadima or priest Tato yesterday. In the last 15 years, 80 religious have been accused of sexual crimes.

Committed from the asymmetry that always implies the pastor in front of the faithful or even between the adult and the minor.

It is not only the abuse of trust committed under the cover of a cassock but the systematic policy on the part of the Catholic Church both in Chile and in the world that in the best of cases was negligence and in the worst concealment.

The Marist Perez confessed his guilt and his congregation was silent for years, the ecclesiastical authorities did not believe the Karadima victims and much earlier, for example, Bishop Cox was moved to Germany.

That is why the Pope's visit would be an excellent moment for him to meet with the victims and ask for their forgiveness on behalf of the institution he heads and forgiveness for his own acts. How to call fools those who in Osorno alleged by Bishop Barros or have attended the funeral of Cardinal Law accused of covering up abuses in Boston.

It would be the most powerful signal of a Never Again.]

Papa Francisco defiende a Barros: "No hay una sola prueba en contra de él, sólo hay calumnias"

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Cooperativa

>>Pope Francis defends Barros: "There is not a single test against him, there are only slander"

January 18, 2018

- "El día que me traigan una prueba contra el obispo Barros, ahí hablaré", dijo el pontífice.

- El obispo de Osorno es sindicado como encubridor de los abusos sexuales del cura Fernando Karadima.

El papa Francisco defendió este jueves al cuestionado obispo Juan Barros, sindicado como encubridor de los abusos sexuales de Fernando Karadima, asegurando que no existen pruebas contra el líder de la Diócesis de Osorno

"El día que me traigan una prueba contra el obispo Barros, ahí voy a hablar. No hay una sola prueba en contra. Todo es calumnia, ¿está claro?", aseguró el pontífice en conversación con varios medios de comunicación.

Se trata de la primera vez durante su visita a Chile que Jorge Bergoglio comenta la situación de Barros, quien ha sido protagonista durante toda la estadía de Francisco en el país y participando en las misas masivas del Parque O'Higgins en Santiago, aeródromo Maquehue en Temuco y Playa Lobito en Iquique pese a las presión periodística y ciudadana.

[Google Translation:
- "The day they bring me a test against Bishop Barros, I'll talk there," said the pontiff.

- The Bishop of Osorno is accused of covering up the sexual abuse of priest Fernando Karadima.

Pope Francis defended Thursday the questioned Bishop Juan Barros , accused of covering up the sexual abuse of Fernando Karadima, assuring that there is no evidence against the leader of the Diocese of Osorno

"The day they bring me a test against Bishop Barros, I'll talk there, there is not one single proof against it, it's all slander, is that clear? " The pontiff said in conversation with several media outlets.

This is the first time during his visit to Chile that Jorge Bergoglio comments on the situation of Barros , who has been the protagonist during Francisco's stay in the country and participating in the massive Masses of Parque O'Higgins in Santiago , Maquehue airfield in Temuco and Lobito Beach in Iquique despite journalistic and citizen pressure.

There are even several priests who have publicly pointed out that the presence of Barros in the papal visit bothers them and even the "violent" , and admit that the controversy "opaque" the strength of Bergoglio's message.

Top Hard critics of Karadima whistleblowers

The statements of Pope Francis generated the immediate reaction of the complainants of the Karadima case.

Juan Carlos Cruz , through his Twitter account, criticized the Pope asking for evidence: " As if one could have taken a selfie or photo while Karadima abused me and others with Juan Barros standing next to him watching everything . "

"These people from above are crazy and the Pope talks about reparation to the victims, we remain the same and his forgiveness remains empty," he said, recalling the public request for forgiveness made by the Vatican head of state on Tuesday at the Palacio de la currency .


Juan Carlos Cruz Ch.
@jccruzchellew
As if one could have taken a selfie or photo while Karadima abused me and others with Juan Barros standing next to him watching everything. These people from above are crazy and @Pontifex_es talks about repairing victims. We remain the same and his forgiveness remains empty.
https://twitter.com/cnnchile/status/953989489755590657 …

9:08 - 18 ene. 2018 · Las Condes, Chile
487 487 respuestas 3.886 3.886 Retweets 2.923 2.923 me gusta
While José Andrés Murillo said that " this has already become personal ... Francisco, realize that our struggle is against abuse ... Benedict, we need you now."


José Andrés Murillo
@JosAndrsMurillo
This has already become personal ... Francisco, realize that our struggle is against abuse ... Benedict, we need you now.

9:31 - 18 ene. 2018
37 37 respuestas 217 217 Retweets 331 331 me gusta
In turn, James Hamilton used the social network to share an image of "the bishops and their leader": Karadima along with Horacio Valenzuela, Juan Barros, Andrés Arteaga and Tomislav Koljatic, the bishops he formed .

James Hamilton
@YverYactuar
The bishops and their leader

Earlier, upon arriving in Iquique, the bishop of Osorno said that the pontiff had expressed "words of encouragement, support and affection . "

Barros was also publicly defended by Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, who said that his situation "is an invented controversy and has no basis".

It should be remembered that there is a letter from 2015 - but only last week - where Francisco expressed concern about the Osorno issue and revealed a plan to give Barros and other questioned bishops a sabbatical.]

La Iglesia oculta casos como el del Sodalicio a nivel mundial

LIMA (PERU)
La República

>>The Church hides cases such as the Sodalicio worldwide

January 18, 2018

By Martín Calderón

Testimonios. Un exsacerdote mexicano, un ciudadano alemán abusado por dos jesuitas y otros activistas denuncian el silencio de la Iglesia Católica en denuncias de pederastia.

“Me considero un sobreviviente de los abusos sexuales, no solo una víctima. Fuimos abusados un grupo de niños en la década del 70, y algunos se suicidaron o tuvieron problemas con el alcohol. Yo sobreviví”.

El relato es de Matthias Katsch, abusado sexualmente a los 13 años, según dijo, por dos jesuitas en un colegio católico en Berlín, Alemania.

Este ciudadano alemán se encuentra en el Perú junto a otras víctimas de abusos sexuales por parte de miembros de la Iglesia católica, y activistas por los derechos de los niños y adolescentes.

La historia de Katsh es parecida a la que vivieron las víctimas del Sodalicio en el Perú. Y parecida también a otros casos registrados en la lejana Irlanda o en el país vecino de Chile.

El caso del Sodalicio, explica la activista Anna Barret-Doyle, “es similar a lo que pasa en todo el globo, y la Iglesia lo sabe”.

[Google Translation: Testimonials . A former Mexican priest, a German citizen abused by two Jesuits and other activists denounce t"I consider myself a survivor of sexual abuse, not just a victim. We were abused a group of children in the 70s, and some committed suicide or had problems with alcohol. I survived".

The story is from Matthias Katsch, sexually abused at age 13, he said, by two Jesuits at a Catholic school in Berlin, Germany.

YOU CAN SEE The secrets of Sodalicio: What happened inside its walls?

This German citizen is in Peru with other victims of sexual abuse by members of the Catholic Church, and activists for the rights of children and adolescents.

The history of Katsh is similar to that of the victims of Sodalicio in Peru. And similar to other cases recorded in distant Ireland or in the neighboring country of Chile.

The Sodalicio case, explains activist Anna Barret-Doyle, "is similar to what happens around the globe, and the Church knows it."

Other activists agree, such as the former Mexican priest Alberto Athié, who left the priesthood when he found out that the Church is hiding cases of pedophilia, according to what he said yesterday during a conversation organized by the organization defending sexual rights Promsex and Lamula.pe in Lima.

"You have to confront the sayings with the facts. What does Pope Francis intend ? The protection of his image and of the Holy See. He has apologized to the victims, but that is not enough. It is not enough to forgive because before there is justice, "he said.

Church in crisis

For the ex-priest Athié, the Catholic Church faces a serious crisis of credibility worldwide due to its lack of transparency in cases of sexual abuse. "The Pope knows it perfectly," he said.

"There is an immensity of cases of sexual abuse in Latin America. The church sends to this region and to Africa persecuted priests in Europe and the United States for sexual crimes. Poor and marginalized children are abused and can hardly make the complaint, "he added.

For his part, the American lawyer and activist Tim Law warned that the pope's message does not agree with his actions.

"It says: 'No more secrets', but at the same time the Church does not make public the list of sexual aggressors," he said.

Finally, the former vice president of the Committee on the Rights of the Child of the UN , the Ecuadorian Sara Oviedo, clarified that the denunciations and questions against the Catholic Church are carried out because it "covers up its members accused of sexual abuse, instead of collaborating with Justice".

More testimonials

The author of the book "Sins of the Fathers", the Jamaican Denise Buchanan, participated in the discussion and told that she was a victim of sexual abuse by members of the Catholic Church.

He narrated that he still suffers the consequences of the tragedy he experienced.

"My social life is dramatic even today. I have achieved success in other aspects of life, but not emotionally. The person who spoke to me about God abused me and I got pregnant. That was devastating, "he said.

"I can not have children and I've divorced twice. And they ask me to turn the page! Buchanan added.

They sent a letter to the Nunciature to be received by the head of the Catholic Church in the world and talk about the injustice generated by the pardon that the former dictator Alberto Fujimori received.

"We are still waiting for an answer. There is nothing official so far, and the timetable for the visit of Pope Francis has already come out, "he said, in a dialogue with La República .

It is also not known if the Pope will meet with the victims of sexual, physical and psychological abuse of Sodalicio.he silence of the Catholic Church in allegations of pedophilia.

Papa Francisco: Plan de seguridad incluye la prohibición de marchas

LIMA (PERU)
La República

>>Pope Francisco: Security plan includes the prohibition of marches

January 18, 2018

Más de 2.600 policías y miembros de las Fuerzas Armadas estarán encargados de garantizar la seguridad del Sumo Pontífice y ciudadanos que asistan a la misa.

El plan para garantizar la seguridad del papa Francisco en su visita al país quedó listo e incluye labores de inteligencia para evitar posibles imprevistos, aseguró ayer el ministro del Interior, Vicente Romero.

“La seguridad está montada sobre un esquema de prevención y el cuidado del minuto a minuto de Su Santidad por todos los lugares donde se desplazará”, indicó.

[Google Translation: More than 2,600 policemen and members of the Armed Forces will be in charge of guaranteeing the security of the Supreme Pontiff and citizens who attend the mass .

The plan to ensure the safety of Pope Francis in his visit to the country was ready and includes intelligence work to avoid possible unforeseen events, said Interior Minister Vicente Romero yesterday .

"The security is mounted on a prevention scheme and the minute-by-minute care of His Holiness for all the places where he will move," he said.

In addition, the General Directorate of Interior Government reported that guarantees will not be granted for marches or mobilizations during the visit of Pope Francis to the country, from January 18 to 21.

For this last city, it has been planned to displace 2,600 policemenwho will have the support of the Armed Forces. "We need the population to trust all the entities of the State that are committed to security," Minister Romero said.

For Sunday 21, a total of 510 policemen, distributed in the 17 doors of entrance to the air base Las Palmas, will have the mission to check the faithful who attend the massive mass of Pope Francis .

"We ask the population to have patience and peace of mind that this will be done in the established times," said General EP Jorge Chavez, head of Indeci.]

Víctimas de abusos en Perú piden al Papa que se haga justicia

BONN (GERMANY)
Deutsche Welle

>>Victims of abuse in Peru ask the Pope to do justice

[Note: Includes a brief video interview via Skype with Darío Menor Torres.]

Activistas y víctimas de países como México, Ecuador o Alemania pidieron que los clérigos denunciados sean remitidos "a la justicia común".

Activistas y víctimas de abusos sexuales afirmaron este miércoles (17.01.2018) en Lima que el papa Francisco debe "remitir a la justicia común, para que sean sancionados como corresponde", a los clérigos católicos denunciados por casos de este tipo.

"La Iglesia no puede ser responsable por personas que, en cualquier tipo de circunstancias, son unos abusadores", afirmó la ecuatoriana Sara Oviedo, exvicepresidenta del Comité de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas (ONU).

Oviedo participó en una exposición ante la prensa realizada por integrantes del grupo TAP o The Accountability Proyect (Proyecto de rendición de cuentas), un día antes del inicio de una visita oficial y apostólica del papa Francisco a Perú. En la presentación estuvieron el mexicano Alberto Athié, el británico Peter Saunders, el alemán Matthias Katsch y los norteamericanos Tim Law, Denisse Buchanan y Anne Barrett Doyle.

[Google Translation: Activists and victims of countries like Mexico, Ecuador or Germany asked that the denounced clerics be referred "to the common justice".

Activists and victims of sexual abuse affirmed this Wednesday (17.01.2018) in Lima that Pope Francis must "refer to the common justice, so that they are punished as appropriate", to the Catholic clerics denounced by cases of this type.

"The Church can not be responsible for people who, in any type of circumstances, are abusers," said Ecuadorian Sara Oviedo, former vice president of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UN).

Oviedo participated in an exhibition before the press made by members of the TAP group or The Accountability Project, a day before the beginning of an official and apostolic visit of Pope Francis to Peru. In the presentation were the Mexican Alberto Athié, the British Peter Saunders, the German Matthias Katsch and the North Americans Tim Law, Denisse Buchanan and Anne Barrett Doyle.

The ex-UN official said that the victims of abuse also ask to "separate from their positions clerics who are known, or suspect, to have committed some type of abuse." He also considered that the canon law should be modified so that these cases can no longer be considered "only as a moral violation" and that the church should find mechanisms to denounce these crimes, as well as address them in the formation of priests and education of children in reporting mechanisms.

Athié, a former priest who discovered one of the first cases of abuse perpetrated in Mexico by the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Marcial Maciel, said that the victims' denunciations "have met with a wall" in the Catholic Church. "You have to confront the sayings, the facts and the gestures," he said before emphasizing that "forgiveness is not enough, that is a very important value, but first there is the truth."

Matthias Katsch, co-founder of an association of victims of child abuse, said he participates in these activities "as a survivor", since he was abused in a Jesuit school. "We have the opportunity to show people that they have been victims in the past that we have opportunities today," he said before pointing out that the Catholic Church has a "responsibility" as a "global institution that trains children".

Cases like those of the Sodalicio organization

Barret Doyle added, meanwhile, that in Peru they have to deepen investigations of cases such as those of the Catholic organization Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, which came to light after the publication in 2015 of the book "Mitad monjes, mitad soldados", of the Peruvian journalists Pedro Salinas and Paola Ugaz. He considered that, in addition to the intervention of Sodalicio announced by the Pope last week, he could ask that the founder of that group, Luis Figari, who is currently staying in Rome, be extradited to Peru.

The activist remarked that the denunciations about the Legionaries of Christ, in Mexico; Karadima, in Chile, or Sodalicio, in Peru, "these are cases of victims with economic means". "We have not yet heard of cases of poor victims, and the poor are especially vulnerable," he concluded.]

Cardinal Law, disgraced figure in church abuse scandal, dies

LOCKEFORD (CA)
Express Newsline

January 18, 2018

Cardinal Bernard Law, the Archbishop emeritus of Boston who resigned in 2002 amid a clergy sex abuse scandal, died Wednesday [December 20, 2017] at the age of 86.

"Spotlight" star Mark Ruffalo is not mourning the death of Cardinal Bernard Law, formerly the archbishop of Boston. "Where are we going to celebrate?" said Robert Casarlo, an abuse victim who spoke during a press conference in Boston Wednesday.

Law was once one of the most important figures in the US church, wielding considerable influence inside the Vatican.

Speaking to reporters, some survivors gathered to reflect on Law's death and the abuse they suffered by the priests he oversaw in Boston.

Armidale detectives investigating new report of alleged historical abuse by retired Armidale priest David Joseph Perrett

ARMIDALE (NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA)
Armidale Express

January 18, 2018

By Breanna Chillingworth

A court has been told detectives are investigating more alleged claims of historical sex abuse by a retired priest.

David Joseph Perrett returned to Armidale Local Court on Wednesday morning facing 62 charges, accused of molesting more than a dozen boys in the 1970s and 80s.

Magistrate Michael Holmes was told officers needed more time to investigate after another complainant contacted police, alleging abuse.

Priest Found Guilty of Violent Sex Acts with Children at Orthodox Christian Youth Camps

NEW YORK (NY)
Newsweek

January 17, 2018

By Cristina Maza

An Orthodox priest in Russia was sentenced to 14 years in a high-security penal colony for “especially cynical” violent sexual acts with minors.

The abuse took place at Orthodox youth camps in Russia and Greece between 2009 and 2013, according to local reports on Wednesday.

The priest, Gleb Grozovsky, fled to Israel after police opened a criminal investigation into the abuse in 2013, but he was extradited to Russia in 2016 to stand trial. The trial was held behind closed doors and lasted for seven months.

Grozovsky continues to maintain his innocence and says he will appeal the ruling. Defense lawyers say Grozovsky is a victim of religious and political persecution. A website in English, Russian, Arabic and Hebrew that claims to belong to Grozovsky’s sister says that the court limited the priest's ability to know what he was charged with, but the website has not been updated since last year.

January 17, 2018

Texto y video: Saludo del Papa a los jóvenes de Chile en el Santuario de Maipú

LIMA (PERU_
ACI Prensa / EWTN

>>Greeting of the Pope to the youth of Chile at the Shrine of Maipú

January 17, 2018

El Papa Francisco sostuvo un emotivo y alegre encuentro con los jóvenes en el Santuario Nacional de Maipú, a quienes alentó a preguntarse constantemente qué haría Cristo en su lugar.

A continuación el texto completo de las palabras del Santo Padre:

Yo también Ariel estoy gozoso de estar con ustedes. Gracias por tus palabras de bienvenida en nombre de todos los aquí presentes. Simplemente estoy agradecido por compartir este tiempo como ustedes, que según leí: ahí se bajaron del sofá y se pusieron los zapatos. Gracias. Considero, para mí, importante poder encontrarnos y caminar juntos un rato, ¡Que nos ayudemos a mirar hacia delante! y creo también para ustedes es importante!. Gracias.

Y me alegra que este encuentro se realice aquí en Maipú. En esta tierra donde con un abrazo de fraternidad se fundó la historia de Chile; en este Santuario que se levanta en el cruce de los caminos del Norte y del Sur, que une la nieve y el océano, y hace que el cielo y la tierra tengan un hogar. Hogar para Chile, hogar para ustedes queridos jóvenes, donde la Virgen del Carmen los espera, los recibe con el corazón abierto.

[Partial Google Translation: Pope Francis held an emotional and joyful encounter with the young people in the National Shrine of Maipú, whom he encouraged to constantly ask themselves what Christ would do in his place.

Here is the full text of the words of the Holy Father:

I, too, Ariel, I am glad to be with you. Thank you for your words of welcome on behalf of all present here. I am just grateful to share this time as you, as I read: there they got off the couch and put on their shoes. Thank you. I consider, for me, important to be able to meet and walk together for a while, that we help us to look forward! and I think it's important to you too! Thank you.

And I'm glad that this meeting takes place here in Maipú. In this land where the history of Chile was founded with a hug of fraternity; in this Shrine that rises at the junction of the North and South roads, that unites the snow and the ocean, and makes heaven and earth a home. Home for Chile, home for you dear young people, where the Virgin of Carmen awaits you, receives you with an open heart.

And as he accompanied the birth of this Nation and accompanied so many Chileans throughout these two hundred years, he wants to continue accompanying the dreams that God puts in your heart: dreams of freedom, dreams of joy, dreams of a better future.

You want, as you said Ariel, to 'be protagonists of change'. Be protagonists. The Virgin of Carmen accompanies them so that they are the protagonists of the Chile that their hearts dream of. And I know that the heart of young Chileans dreams, and dreams big, not only when they are a little 'curaditos', no. They always dream big, because of these lands have been born experiences that were expanding and multiplying throughout various countries of our continent.]

La visita del papa a Perú vuelve a poner a la luz los casos de abuso en el Sodalicio

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times (en español)

>>The Pope's visit to Peru once again brings to light cases of abuse in the Sodalicio

16 de enero de 2018

Por Silvia Viñas

Londres - En las paredes de su cuarto en Colonia, Alemania, donde vivió los últimos años, no había un solo rastro que revelara que Álvaro Urbina era peruano. Nada recordaba al país donde había nacido y vivido hasta los 23 años, cuando decidió marcharse. “Dejé un poco atrás mi vida en el Perú”, dijo, una tarde del 2017, “y muchas veces me duele mucho recordar”.

Urbina se fue de Lima en 2004 y durante más de una década trató de evitar el pasado; pero un día del 2015, mientras revisaba Facebook, se topó con una noticia que lo obligó a recordar: el artículo decía que a Luis Fernando Figari y a Germán Doig —dos altos dirigentes del Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, una sociedad católica a la que él se había unido de adolescente— se les acusaba de abusar sexual, física y psicológicamente de menores de edad y adultos jóvenes.

El Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana fue fundado en Perú en 1971 por Luis Fernando Figari, uno de los primeros líderes de la organización acusados de abuso por exsodálites, cuyos testimonios dieron a conocer los periodistas Pedro Salinas y Paola Ugaz. Esta sociedad católica —formada por sacerdotes y laicos como Figari y aprobada por el papa Juan Pablo II— ha buscado establecer un grupo de religiosos devotos que viven en comunidad. Desde su fundación, el Sodalicio ha concentrado sus esfuerzos de evangelización entre la elite peruana, pero también tiene presencia en toda América Latina y en Estados Unidos. Algunos medios han reportado que la organización cuenta con más de 20.000 seguidores.

Después de ver aquella noticia, Álvaro Urbina siguió buscando y leyó en un blog que Jeffery Daniels, su antiguo guía espiritual en el Sodalicio, presuntamente había abusado de una cantidad indeterminada de adolescentes. No lo podía creer: “Yo estaba tan ciego que nunca supe que yo no había sido el único. Por eso siempre me quedé callado”, dijo esa tarde de abril en Colonia, donde vivía desde el 2012. Entonces decidió contar su historia: unos meses después, su testimonio salía publicado en la prensa peruana.

[Google Translation: On the walls of his room in Cologne, Germany, where he lived in recent years, there was not a single trace that revealed that Alvaro Urbina was Peruvian. Nothing remembered the country where he was born and lived until he was 23, when he decided to leave. "I left my life a little behind in Peru," he said, one afternoon in 2017, "and many times it hurts a lot to remember."

Urbina left Lima in 2004 and for more than a decade tried to avoid the past; but one day in 2015, while reviewing Facebook, he ran into a story that forced him to remember: the article said that Luis Fernando Figari and Germán Doig - two senior leaders of the Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, a Catholic society to which he had joined as a teenager - they were accused of abusing sexually, physically and psychologically minors and young adults.

The Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana was founded in Peru in 1971 by Luis Fernando Figari, one of the first leaders of the organization accused of abuse by exsodálites, whose testimonies were made known by journalists Pedro Salinas and Paola Ugaz. This Catholic society - formed by priests and laymen like Figari and approved by Pope John Paul II - has sought to establish a group of devout religious who live in community. Since its founding, Sodalicio has concentrated its evangelization efforts among the Peruvian elite, but it also has a presence throughout Latin America and the United States. Some media have reported that the organization has more than 20,000 followers .

After seeing that news, Álvaro Urbina continued to search and read in a blog that Jeffery Daniels, his former spiritual guide in Sodalicio, allegedly abused an undetermined number of teenagers. I could not believe it: "I was so blind that I never knew that I had not been the only one. That's why I always kept quiet, "he said that April afternoon in Cologne, where he had lived since 2012. He then decided to tell his story: a few months later, his testimony was published in the Peruvian press .

Urbina is 36 years old, with long dreadlocks and clear eyes. He is the only victim of Daniels who has given his name publicly to tell what he lived. "We could say that is my payment method for all this," he said.

When he decided to do so, it was still almost two years before the Public Ministry of Peru requested preventive detention for his former spiritual guide, Jeffery Daniels, and three other ex-leaders of Sodalicio, including Figari. The founder of Sodalicio and seven ex-leaders were denounced in May 2016 for the crimes of kidnapping, serious injuries and illicit association to commit a crime.

The story of Urbina is part of a special episode of Radio Ambulante on the victims of this organization that is broadcast today, one month after the request for preventive detention against ex-leaders of the Sodalicio and two days before the visit of Pope Francis to Peru, the first of a pontiff to the country in thirty years.

On Wednesday, January 10, a week after his arrival, the press office of the Vatican informed that Francisco had ordered the Sodalicio to intervene because of the concern generated by "all the information that, for several years, has been coming" about the organization.

'There was no way to escape for me'

Álvaro Urbina was 14 years old when he went to his first activity organized by Sodalicio. There he met Jeffery Daniels, who was twice his age. At that time, in the mid-nineties, Daniels was one of the laity who led groups of adolescents between 12 and 16 years. Organized activities, outings and trips. It addressed religious themes in a fun and accessible way for young people.

Daniels was known for his jovial attitude, for making jokes and being "chacotero", says Urbina. That irreverence was not what he expected from a religious leader: "It was lucky for him that we liked him very much," he says. Daniels was also affectionate and Urbina says that it made him feel that "you could trust him with your problems, any kind of problems". Bullying, sex, your parents. "He became your best friend."

That connection was something Urbina wanted. He did not fit in his private upper class school in Lima; he had bad grades, his classmates harassed him, and he was in danger of being suspended for indiscipline. His parents had recently separated and his father had left the country. In that group led by Daniels, Urbina felt safe. "They made me feel happy," she says, "they gave me a reason to smile, that was something that I lacked since my dad left."

One day, after one of his first outings with the group, Daniels left him home. He parked the car and began to talk to him about the trust: he told him that if he was able to trust him, he would lower his pants, says Urbina. Then he asked her to pull her underpants down. "And I did too," Urbina says now, and recalls that Daniels reviewed him as if he were doing a medical inspection.

After another exit the scene was repeated, but Urbina says that this time it had a sexual tone. For that lonely 14-year-old boy, what happened with Daniels felt like the beginning of a relationship. "I mean, he knew what he was giving me. Then, of course, from that point of view he had me completely tied psychologically, "he says.

At first Daniels visited him once or twice a week, even when Urbina stopped going to Sodalicio's activities. And during the nearly two years of their sexual encounters, Urbina says that Daniels never had to ask him to keep what they were doing secret. "It was not necessary," Urbina says, "talking to my mother or something like that would have been, to my best friend and the person I trusted the most, to throw it to the lions. There was no way to escape for me. "

Until suddenly, without warning, Daniels stopped visiting. After months without having news, Urbina called the house of Sodalicio where Daniels lived. The person who answered told him he had moved. Soon Urbina ran into him on a beach near Lima. Remember that Daniels "had a mad face upset," who spoke for a minute and told him he had to go. "That was the last time I talked to him."

Five years later, Urbina left Peru and would not know about Daniels until twelve years later, when he read the article with the accusations and decided to tell his story. "If I had known at that time, if I had noticed, if I had not been so blind. What do I know, so many 'if there were', "he told me that afternoon in Germany.

In February 2017, Sodalicio's website published a report that says Daniels "has been accused of sexual abuse of at least twelve young men", but according to witnesses, there are more victims who have not reported it. The document is the result of an investigation carried out by international experts commissioned by Alessandro Moroni, who is listed as Superior General of Sodalicio on the organization's website.

Urbina's experience is now part of an extensive list of testimonies detailing sexual, physical and psychological abuse by Sodalicio leaders. Many are registered in the book Half monks, half soldiers , written by the journalist and exsodálite Pedro Salinas and the journalist Paola Ugaz.

The book, published in 2015, is the result of five years of research. It gathers thirty testimonies pointing to Figari, retired since the end of 2010 and currently in Rome; Doig, who died in 2001, and Daniels, who according to recent reports in the Chicago Tribune , lives in the state of Illinois, in the United States. Ugaz tells that since they began their investigation, at the end of 2010, they have collected more than a hundred testimonies.

Within the Sodalicio the accusations were not new. According to the aforementioned report, a minor reported to Figari of sexual abuse in 1975, four years after Sodalicio was founded. In the following years there were more denunciations against Figari, Doig, Daniels and others. But the first articles on physical and psychological abuse did not come out until 2000, thanks to a series of columns written by the exsodálite José Enrique Escardó Steck for Gente magazine . As with the cases of the Chilean priest Fernando Karadima or the Mexican Marcial Maciel , it took decades to uncover these abuses.

In the case of Karadima, The New York Times revealed the first denunciations against him in 2010. The accusations dated back to the eighties. In February 2011, the Vatican declared the Chilean priest guilty of sexually abusing minors and ordered him to retire to a life of prayer. Five years earlier he had ordered the retirement of the Mexican Marcial Maciel, founder of the Order of the Legionaries of Christ and accused of abusing minors for decades. Maciel died in 2008.

In the case of Figari, the Vatican ordered him not to return to Peru - "except for very serious reasons" and with written permission - not to contact Sodalites and not to talk to the media. These indications are part of a letter of January 2017 addressed to Moroni, where they report on the result of an "apostolic visit" that sought to verify the accusations against the founder of Sodalicio.

In May 2016, Pedro Salinas and four ex-Sodalites sued Figari and other former leaders of the organization for crimes of kidnapping, serious injuries and conspiracy to commit a crime. The prosecutor in charge of the case questioned Figari in Rome. However, in January 2017 the prosecution filed the case alleging that there was not enough evidence and that the crimes had been prescribed.

But two months later another prosecutor reopened the case and on December 13 the Public Ministry requested nine months of preventive detention for Figari, Daniels and two other ex-leaders of Sodalicio: Virgilio Levaggi and Daniel Murguía.

The request for preventive detention was made public one month after Pope Francis visited Peru. Congressman Alberto de Belaunde, who led the creation of a special commission to investigate the Sodalicio, sent a letter to the representative of the pope in Peru requesting that the pontiff meet with the victims of the Sodalicio during his visit from January 18 to 21.

Until Monday, January 15, Belaunde's request had not received a response. But, eight days before Francisco's arrival, the Vatican announced the intervention of Sodalicio, what some have considered more a public relations maneuver than a real commitment to transform the organization.

Álvaro Urbina returned to Peru in August 2017, after thirteen years abroad. Now he works as a surf photographer on a beach north of Lima. "I went abroad to find answers," he says. "Now I'm here looking to settle my roots and help as much as possible." One of the first things he did back in Lima was to testify in the Office of the Prosecutor. "If I can help a child not to be touched by that beast, then more than happy to do so, more than happy."]

Confirman reunión reservada del Papa con víctimas de abusos sexuales por religiosos

CONCEPCIÓN, CHILE
BioBioChile

>>Confirmed meeting of the Pope reserved with victims of sexual abuse by religious

January 16, 2018

By Alberto González

El papa Francisco se reunió este martes con un grupo de víctimas de abusos sexuales por parte de sacerdotes, según informó el portavoz del romano pontífice.

“El Santo Padre se ha reunido hoy en la Nunciatura Apostólica de Santiago de Chile, después del almuerzo, con un pequeño grupo de víctimas de abusos sexuales por parte de sacerdotes”, reza un comunicado enviado por el Vaticano.

Las víctimas “han podido contar sus sufrimientos al Papa Francisco, que les ha escuchado y ha rezado y llorado con ellos”, agrega el comunicado.

La identidad de los participantes se revelará si estos quieren hacerlo público, agregaron las fuentes del Vaticano que convocaron una conferencia de prensa para dar a conocer esta información.

[Google Translation: The Pope Francis met Tuesday with a group of victims of sexual abuse by priests, according to the spokesman of the Roman pontiff.

"The Holy Father met today at the Apostolic Nunciature of Santiago de Chile, after lunch, with a small group of victims of sexual abuse by priests," reads a statement sent by the Vatican.

The victims "have been able to tell their sufferings to Pope Francis, who has listened to them and has prayed and cried with them," the statement added.

The identity of the participants will be revealed if they want to make it public, added the Vatican sources that convened a press conference to publicize this information.

On two occasions during his first day of official visit to Chile, the Pope spoke of the "shame" and "pain" he feels for the sexual abuse perpetrated by the clergy against minors.

"I can not help but express the pain and the shame I feel at the irreparable damage caused to children by ministers of the Church," the pope said before the country's authorities in La Moneda, prompting applause from the audience.

Later, in a meeting with religious in the cathedral of Santiago, Francisco urged them to have "the courage to ask for forgiveness".

"I know that sometimes they have suffered insults in the subway or walking down the street; that being dressed as a priest in many places is paying dearly, "said the Pope, visibly worried about this issue that not only tarnishes the image of the Church, but is producing a galloping distrust of the Chileans in the institution.

In Chile, nearly 80 religious abused minors since 2000, according to a list distributed last week by the American NGO Bishop Accountability.

"It does not serve forgiveness, shame and pain if it does not come with the corresponding actions", published Juan Andrés Murillo, anti-abuse activist and one of the complainants in 2010 of the emblematic case of Fernando Karadima, when several men reported having been abused in his youth by the powerful priest, condemned by the Vatican to "a life of prayer and penance".]

Víctimas de Karadima y reunión del papa Francisco: "No fuimos invitados"

CONCEPCIÓN, CHILE
BioBioChile

>>Victims of Karadima and meeting of Pope Francis: "We were not invited"

By Alberto González and Nicole Martinez

Las víctimas de Fernando Karadima revelaron que no fueron invitados a la reservada reunión que sostuvo el papa Francisco con víctimas de abusos sexuales por parte del clero de la iglesia Católica.

A través de una declaración conjunta, James Hamilton, Juan Andrés Murillo y Juan Carlos Cruz, se refirieron a la cita privada que sostuvo el obispo de Roma con un pequeño grupo de víctimas, según confirmó el vocero del Vaticano.

“Nos han contado que el Papa se juntó con víctimas de abusos sexuales del clero. Nos han preguntado si nosotros -James, José Andrés y Juan Carlos- estuvimos en esa reunión. No, no fuimos invitados”, indicaron.

[Google Translation: The victims of Fernando Karadima revealed that they were not invited to the reserved meeting held by Pope Francis with victims of sexual abuse by the clergy of the Catholic Church.

Through a joint statement, James Hamilton, Juan Andrés Murillo and Juan Carlos Cruz, referred to the private appointment held by the Bishop of Rome with a small group of victims, as confirmed by the Vatican spokesman.

"We have been told that the Pope met with victims of sexual abuse by the clergy. They asked us if we -James, José Andrés and Juan Carlos- were in that meeting. No, we were not invited, "they said.

However, they valued the meeting of the Roman Pontiff with the victims, although they warned that the important thing is for the Church to take action on the issue.

"We appreciate that those victims who met with the Pope had a direct word from the highest authority of the Catholic Church," they said.

Recall that as confirmed by the Vatican, the identities of the people who participated in the meeting will be kept in reserve by the Church, so it is unknown who participated in the meeting.

However, the victims of Karadima would not be the only ones to suffer abuses by religious in our country. According to a list distributed last week by the American NGO Bishop Accountability, nearly 80 religious abused minors since 2000.

"We hope that the words to those victims, are not all that is done. And concrete actions are taken that punish those responsible for all the victims and establish the justice that should and should have in each of the cases. This includes removing cover-up bishops and appointments that facilitate the escape of a victimizer from the action of justice, "they added.

"We are convinced that all the victims who went through this hell, hope that all concrete measures are taken so that these crimes against humanity never happen again," they concluded.]

No basta solo pedir perdón

LIMA (PERU)
La República

>>It is not enough to just ask for forgiveness

January 17, 2018

By Augusto Álvarez Rodrich

La iglesia frente a sacerdotes y religiosos que son pedófilos.

Algo incorrecto ocurre en la iglesia católica cuando un pedido de perdón del papa Francisco por los graves casos de pedofilia de sacerdotes se vuelve noticia.

“No puedo dejar de manifestar el dolor y la vergüenza que siento ante el daño irreparable causado a niños por parte de ministros de la iglesia. Sé que es justo pedir perdón y apoyar a las víctimas, además estamos empeñados para que no se vuelva a repetir”, dijo ayer en Chile, donde la iglesia católica sufre un severo desprestigio por los abusos sexuales que han generado más de 80 denuncias.

Pero peor fue el blindaje a sacerdotes involucrados en pedofilia por parte del Vaticano expresado en que Francisco designó como obispo de Osorno a Juan Barros, alguien a quien las víctimas de los abusos señalan como muy cercano a ese monstruo eclesiástico de Fernando Karadima.

En el Perú tenemos un problema parecido: los abusos sexuales y psicológicos realizados en el Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, ante los cuales el arzobispado de Lima no actuó con la diligencia requerida, lo cual generó una demanda al cardenal Juan Luis Cipriani ante el Ministerio Público.

Sin embargo, estas denuncias fueron imposibles de negar cuando apareció Mitad monjes, mitad soldados, de Pedro Salinas y Paola Ugaz.

[Google Translation: The church in front of priests and religious who are pedophiles.

Something wrong happens in the Catholic Church when a request for forgiveness from Pope Francis for the serious cases of pedophilia of priests becomes news.

"I can not help but express the pain and shame I feel at the irreparable damage inflicted on children by church ministers. I know it is fair to ask for forgiveness and support the victims, and we are committed so that it does not happen again, "he said yesterday in Chile, where the Catholic Church suffers a severe loss of prestige for the sexual abuse that has generated more than 80 complaints.

But worse was the shielding of priests involved in pedophilia on the part of the Vatican, expressed in that Francisco designated as bishop of Osorno Juan Barros, someone whom the victims of the abuses point out as very close to that ecclesiastical monster of Fernando Karadima.

In Peru we have a similar problem: the sexual and psychological abuses carried out in the Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, before which the archbishopric of Lima did not act with the required diligence, which generated a demand to Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani before the Public Ministry.

However, these denunciations were impossible to deny when Mitad monks appeared, half soldiers, of Pedro Salinas and Paola Ugaz.

The judicial case has advanced but not enough. Although he did it a few days before Francisco's visit to Peru, the Vatican has done well to order Sodalicio's intervention.

What, however, remains unprecedented is the shielding of the Vatican to that defendant of pedophilia with very solid evidence that is the founder of Sodalicio Luis Fernando Figari.

Last year, the Vatican decided that Figari should remain in Italy and not return to Peru. The problem is that the Peruvian justice requires it to prosecute him for serious crimes.

For the Pope's requests for forgiveness to make real sense, the Vatican must contribute to putting priests and religious accused of rape in justice instead of covering them up.

Cover-up that includes the Peruvian political sector expressed in the outrageous support of Fuerza Popular to the rapists of the Sodalicio.

And that must reach all cases. From the Sodalicio linked to the right, to the left as those of the Héctor de Cárdenas school.

93% of Peruvians surveyed by Ipsos believe that Pope Francis should have a position of greater condemnation with priests and religious who have committed abuses against minors. I hope that Pope Francis will do much more in Peru than just ask for forgiveness.]

Former Perth Catholic school teacher on historic child sex abuse charges

PERTH (WESTERN AUSTRALIA)
Perth Now

January 16, 2018

A former teacher at two Perth Catholic colleges is facing historic child sex abuse charges dating back as far as 1979.

The 71-year-old man has been charged with four counts of aggravated indecent assault, three counts of indecent dealing of a child and one of indecently assaulting a man.

The allegations stem from the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual offences.

The first offences allegedly occurred in 1979 when the man was a teacher at a Catholic school in Bedford.

Police allege the man indecently assaulted a boy three times, twice when he was 13 years old and once when the boy had turned 14.

It is also alleged that between 1986 and 1987, the man sexually assaulted a boy who was 13 years old at the time of the first offence.

Carolyn Bennett asks Catholic groups to allow residential school survivors to have documents outlining abuse made public

TORONTO (ONTARIO, CANADA)
Globe and Mail

January 15, 2018

By Gloria Galloway

The federal government is urging Catholic groups that ran Indian residential schools to allow former students who settled their abuse cases before a compensation deal was signed with school survivors to file their court documents with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

Justice Department lawyers say permission from both the government and the Catholic entities is required before abuse survivors who launched court cases before 2006, when the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) was struck, can house papers related to their cases at the centre in Winnipeg that is chronicling the schools' tragic legacy.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in December the government will waive the privilege it asserts over the records pertaining to the lawsuit launched by Angela Shisheesh for the hardships she endured at the infamous St. Anne's Residential School in Fort Albany, Ont., where former students say they were tortured in a makeshift electric chair and forced to eat their own vomit.

Carolyn Bennett, the Minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations, has written a letter that is being sent to the roughly 50 Catholic entities that ran the schools asking them to do the same for everyone in Ms. Shisheesh's situation – essentially requesting that the Church allow more documents detailing the abuse suffered by the students to be made public.

Leadership style, a comparison between Dr. King and Pope Francis

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

January 16, 2018

By Ken Briggs

Martin Luther King Jr.'s words left an indelible mark on our eyes and our ears. Nothing but the Gettysburg Address is so imprinted on the scroll of American history than the "I Have a Dream" speech, to cite only the most incandescent of his exhortations. That legacy also bolsters the case for Providence. If he had preached earlier or later in the century, his eloquence and charisma might have been limited by circumstance. One could argue that he appeared on stage at just the right time, now unimaginable at any other.

As it happened, Dr. King delivered his soaring message as television coverage was ramping up its McLuhan-esque "medium is message" magic of immensely powerful, enigmatic impact. Its scope ballooned to national and international dimensions. A decade or two earlier, he would have been limited principally to radio and movie theater film clips. His influence would surely have been felt, but his suddenly emergence as a major figure in the cultural and political realm would likely have needed much more time to ripen. And the time for such a prophet and activist was ripe right then.

* * *

Remembering Dr. King reminds me of Pope Francis' style of leadership. He is a compassionate prophet full of pleas for the poor, the victims of brutality, the visionaries of a kinder, gentler church and the welfare of suffering human kind in general. In that, he reflects a loving, self-less posture that sends a clear message no less profound than Dr. King's. So far, though, nearly five years into his papacy, he has not appeared at the barricades or directed the church to place its assets, its personnel or its ethical partisanship behind any social or political efforts to shift power away from the tyranny of wealth and oppression, except very indirectly.

Pope John Paul II (be careful what you wish for) gained stature by aiding the particular force, solidarity, to gain success over communism. He deputized then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to run followers of liberation theology out of town. Those kinds of actions probably contributed more than anything else to the "Great" designation tacked on to his memorial. By no means does that require Francis to follow similar strategies, but he might translate some of his wise words into actions that give form to them.

German diocese of Trier to pay €450,000 to church abuse victims

BONN (GERMANY)
Deutsche Welle

January 15, 2018

By David Martin

The Trier diocese has agreed to pay out almost half-a-million euro to abuse victims. The gesture comes eight years after the Catholic Church in Germany was rocked by reports of sexual abuse going back decades.

The Trier diocese — one of the oldest Roman Catholic parishes in Germany — announced on Monday it was paying €453,000 to 90 victims who suffered abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church.

Judith Rupp, a spokeswoman for the diocese, said the victims had received "material benefit in recognition of their suffering." Altogether, 135 alleged victims had initially applied for compensation.

Rupp also stressed that the money would not come from the church tax - a monthly fee paid by Germans who register themselves with the state as Roman Catholic - but solely by the diocese itself.

Abuse survivor confronts gymnastics doctor: ‘I have been coming for you for a long time’

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

January 17, 2018

By Kyle Swenson

Two school pictures floated side-by-side on a projection screen in the Michigan courtroom.

Both images caught the same small girl — in one, all gawky smile and bangs; the next, braces and long hair — a few years apart. Until this week, the child in the snapshots had been officially identified only as “Victim Z.A.” or “a family friend.”

But on Tuesday, Kyle Stephens, now a young woman, stepped out from the curtain of anonymity to directly address disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar before a judge in Lansing.

“I was the first to testify in this case, and worried of the attention that could come of that, I asked for complete anonymity,” Stephens explained, the pictures of her projected over her shoulder stemming from the time of her abuse. “I’m addressing you publicly today as a final step and statement to myself that I have nothing to be ashamed of.”

* * *

“I have been coming for you for a long time,” she told Nassar, who hid his eyes beneath his hand through the testimony. “I’ve told counselors your name in hopes they would report you. I’ve told your name to Child Protective Services twice. I gave a testament to get your medical license revoked. You were first arrested on my charges. And now as the only nonmedical victim to come forward, I testify to let the world know you are a repulsive liar.”

* * *

When she was 12 years old, thanks to news accounts of the Catholic Church priest abuse and a friend’s own story about molestation, Stephens realized what was happening. She told her parents about what Nassar had been doing to her. Her parents confronted their friend.

“Due to complex details that I won’t get into here, my parents choose to believe Larry Nassar over me,” she said. Convinced their daughter had made a false allegation against a friend, Stephens’s parents brought Nassar over to their home to speak to her. Nassar told her, “No one should ever do that, and if they do, you should tell someone,” Stephens told the court.

Pope Francis meets sex abuse victims in Chile

LONDON (ENGLAND)
BBC

January 17, 2018

Pope Francis has met a group of victims of sexual abuse by priests in Chile.

The meeting at the Vatican's mission in Santiago was "strictly private", his office said, providing no further details.

Earlier during his visit to Chile, the Pope felt "pain and shame" over the sex abuse scandal, asking the victims for forgiveness.

He has been criticised in Chile for a decision to ordain a bishop accused of covering up sexual abuse by a priest.

Francis also mentioned the issue when he said Mass for some 400,000 people in Santiago on Tuesday.

"I know the pain of these cases of child abuse and I am following how much is needed to overcome this serious and painful evil," he said.

He spoke of his sympathy with "victims and their families, who have seen their trust in ministers of the Church betrayed".

* * *

On Monday, activists fighting for the rights of sexual abuse victims gathered in Santiago for a conference.

They launched an organisation called Ending Clerical Abuse which "seeks to stop child sexual abuse by the clergy" worldwide.

One of the activists, Juan Carlos Cruz, told the BBC: "[Saying sorry] is not sufficient for a survivor. What we want is for the Pope to take action."

Pope Francis meets with sex abuse victims in Chile

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Catholic News Agency

January 16, 2018

Pope Francis met privately Tuesday with 6 victims of sexual abuse committed by priests in Chile, the papal spokesman has reported. The meeting had not been previously announced as a part of the Pope’s schedule.

"Today after lunch, the Holy Father met with a small group of victims of sexual abuse committed by priests, at the Apostolic Nunciature in Santiago. The meeting was strictly private, and there was no one else present: only the Pope and the victims. In this way, the were able to share their sufferings with Pope Francis, who listened to them, and prayed and cried with them," reported Greg Burke, director of the Vatican’s press office.

At a press conference from Santiago, Burke told reporters that the meeting lasted half an hour.

January 16, 2018

Pope meets with abuse survivors, weeps with them in Chile

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press

January 16, 2018

By Peter Prengerman and Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis met on Tuesday with survivors of priests who sexually abused them, wept with them and apologized for the “irreparable damage” they suffered, his spokesman said.

The pontiff also acknowledged the “pain” of priests who have been held collectively responsible for the crimes of a few, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke told reporters at the end of the day.

Francis dove head-first into Chile’s sex abuse scandal on his first full day in Santiago that came amid unprecedented opposition to his visit: Three more churches were torched overnight, including one burned to the ground in the southern Araucania region where Francis celebrates Mass on Wednesday. Police used tear gas and water cannons to break up an anti-pope protest outside Francis’ big open-air Mass in the capital, Santiago.

Despite the incidents, huge numbers of Chileans turned out to see the pope, including an estimated 400,000 for his Mass, and he brought some inmates to tears with an emotional visit to a women’s prison.

But his meeting with abuse survivors and comments in his first speech of the day were what many Chileans, incensed by years of abuse scandal and cover-up, were waiting for.

Tens of thousands of jubilant Chileans turned out in droves for Pope Francis’ first public Mass, a huge gathering in the capital’s O’Higgins Park. Demonstrators marching against poverty clashed with riot police as they attempted to reach the celebration. (Jan. 16)

Burke said Francis met with a small group of abuse victims after lunch, listening to their stories and praying with them. The spokesman gave no details, other than to say the pope “listened to them, prayed with them and wept with them.”

Pope meets victims of child sexual abuse in Chile, 'cries with them'

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Reuters

By Philip Pullella and Dave Sherwood

Pope Francis publicly expressed “pain and shame” on Tuesday over the rape and molestation of children by priests in Chile and later listened, prayed and cried at a private meeting with victims.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said the meeting took place in the Vatican embassy in Santiago.

“No one else was present. Only the pope and the victims,” the spokesman said. “This was so they could speak of their suffering to Pope Francis, who listened to them and prayed and cried with them.”

It was only the second time on his overseas trips that the pope has met victims of sexual abuse, although he has met some at the Vatican. The last meeting on a trip was in Philadelphia in 2015.

Burke declined to give details, but his statement came at the end of an intense day for the pope, during which he spoke of sexual abuse twice, once asking forgiveness for abuses he said had done “irreparable damage” to victims.

The Argentine pontiff made his first remarks at the presidential palace, La Moneda, an unusual choice because the pope usually talks about sexual abuse to Church leaders and not politicians.

But the scandal has gripped the nation, prompting many politicians to criticizes the Church in the staunchly Catholic country, where the crisis has scarred its credibility.

'Child Victims Act' would bring hidden predators to justice

POUGHKEEPSIE (NY)
Poughkeepsie Journal

January 16, 2018

By Kathryn Robb

When I first heard the claims of child sexual abuse against Alabama’s disgraced former Senate candidate Roy Moore, I was sick to my stomach. But as a long-time advocate and abuse survivor, I was not surprised that such a predator was able to remain hidden in plain sight for so long.

Despite the national conversation turning to rampant, and previously unreported, sexual abuse, New Yorkers still live in a state with laws that diminish victims and protect predators. In fact, New York is one of the worst states to be a victim of child sexual abuse, on par with Alabama.

New York has among the most restrictive statute of limitations for child sexual abuse crimes – barring most victims in Dutchess County and across the state from taking their abuser to court after they turn 23 years old. For most victims, it takes decades to report sexual abuse from their childhood, and the current statute of limitations means many who come forward are still denied their day in court.

Obispo encubridor de pederastas estuvo en misa del Papa

LIMA (PERU)
El Comercio

>>Bishop hiding pedophiles was at Mass of the Pope

January 16, 2018

Varios han mostrado su indignación al ver al obispo Juan Barros en la misa en donde el Sumo Pontífice manifestó "dolor" y "vergüenza" por el "daño irreparable" causado a los niños por sacerdotes pedófilos

El papa Francisco manifestó en su primera misa en Chile "dolor" y "vergüenza" por el "daño irreparable" causado a los niños por sacerdotes pedófilos. Pero gran parte del pueblo chileno está indignado.

Varios han mostrado su indignación al ver imágenes que circularon en las redes sociales en las que se observa al obispo Juan Barros, señalado como encubridor de un caso sobre pederastia, en la misa.

[Google Translation: Several have shown their outrage at seeing Bishop Juan Barros at the mass where the Supreme Pontiff expressed "pain" and "shame" for the "irreparable damage" caused to children by pedophile priests

The Pope Francis said in his first Mass in Chile "grief" and "embarrassed" by the "irreparable damage" caused to children by pedophile priests. But a large part of the Chilean people are outraged.

Several have shown their indignation when seeing images that circulated in the social networks in which Bishop Juan Barros is observed , indicated as a cover-up of a case on pedophilia, in the mass.

Barros co officiated the mass with Francisco, unleashing anger on Twitter. "The Pope asks for forgiveness, but Karadima's concealer is at the O'Higgins Park mass, while the victims did not want to receive them," says Víctor Pacheco in a tweet.

"If the Pope leaves Chile without the commitment to investigate the complicity of the leaders of the Church, distrust with the Church is going to worsen," says Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability in a statement.

Juan Barros took office amid controversy and protests for his closeness to priest Fernando Karadima. He has been consistently classified as the "concealer" of the condemned for sexual abuse of minors.

The Pope has arrived in the most critical country in Latin America with the Catholic Church and in full social change: he has just approved the therapeutic abortion and is filing homosexual marriage in the Parliament after the adoption of the civil union of same-sex couples and the one gender identity law.

The pontiff's agenda in Santiago also highlights a visit to a women's prison, a meeting with religious in the Cathedral of Santiago, which is expected to talk about sexual abuse, a private visit to the sanctuary of San Alberto Hurtado and a meeting with young people.]

Anne Barrett-Doyle: "Cuando un obispo chileno pase un día en la cárcel, van a haber cambios en la iglesia chilena"

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
AméricaEconomía

>>Anne Barrett-Doyle: "When a Chilean bishop spends a day in jail, there will be changes in the Chilean church"

January 15, 2018

By Cristian Aránguiz

La experta estadounidense es una de las voces más autorizadas a nivel mundial en casos de abusos sexuales dentro de la iglesia católica. Ha apoyado importantes investigaciones, como las que se realizaron sobre el Arzobispado de Boston y que hicieron renunciar al poderoso cardenal Bernard Law, lo que años después daría origen a la premiada película “Spotlight”. Hoy, con la llegada a suelo chileno de la máxima autoridad de la Iglesia Católica, Barrett-Doyle le hace un llamado al Papa a dar respuestas a las víctimas de las violaciones y a reflexionar sobre las actitudes de las autoridades locales que protegen a los agresores.

Bishop Accountability es una ONG de origen estadounidense que recopila información global sobre miembros de la Iglesia Católica acusados de abuso sexual o violación de menores. En medio de la visita papal a Chile, la sede de la Fundación para la Confianza sirvió como comando central para que Anne Barrett-Doyle, líder de Bishop Accountability, entregara de manera pública los antecedentes que han recopilado sobre sacerdotes o miembros de la Iglesia Católica chilena acusados de realizar abusos sexuales o violaciones en contra de menores de edad.

La lista íntegra se encuentra, para su revisión, en el sitio https://www.bishop-accountability.org, donde se consignan 79 casos nacionales.

[Google Translation: "The Chilean government needs to carry out criminal investigations in the Catholic Church, to do that perhaps you start by creating laws that would enable them to persecute institutions like the Church or people within it," the expert said of what the Catholic Church should do. Chilean state to be able to sanction new abuses.

The American expert is one of the most authoritative voices in the world in cases of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. He has supported important investigations, such as those that were carried out on the Archbishopric of Boston and that made renounce the powerful Cardinal Bernard Law, which years later would give rise to the award-winning film "Spotlight". Today, with the arrival on Chilean soil of the highest authority of the Catholic Church, Barrett-Doyle calls on the Pope to give answers to the victims of the violations and to reflect on the attitudes of the local authorities that protect the aggressors.

Bishop Accountability is an American-born NGO that collects global information about members of the Catholic Church accused of sexual abuse or rape of minors. In the midst of the papal visit to Chile, the headquarters of the Foundation for Trust served as a central command for Anne Barrett-Doyle, leader of Bishop Accountability, to publicly release the background they have gathered about priests or members of the Catholic Church. Chilean women accused of carrying out sexual abuse or rape against minors.

The full list is available for review at https://www.bishop-accountability.org , where 79 national cases are recorded.

Q. What actions should be taken to avoid the concealment of sexual aggressors, either from civil society or within the clergy?

A. From the interior of the church there must be a law so that any bishop or anyone who knows of any abuse, must report them immediately and safely. But we believe that the real answer comes from outside the church, from secular organizations, from the prosecutors of justice who are the ones who should and can get involved to solve. When a Chilean bishop spends a day in jail, there will be changes in the Chilean church.

Q. Have the necessary measures been taken today, from the Vatican headquarters, to prevent sexual abuse by its officials?

A. I do not think so. Today the Vatican does not yet have a policy of zero tolerance for abuse. But not only that, but it promotes those people to better positions, like what is happening here in Chile.

Q. Pope Francis announced a policy of zero tolerance, has it been fulfilled?

A. Pope Francis has promised "zero tolerance" for the crimes of abusers or sexual harassers. He has said that the protection of minors is the highest priority for the Catholic Church, but here in Chile the bishops and higher authorities do not follow that promise.

Q. What policy, then, has the Chilean church maintained in cases of abuse?

A. A bit unclear and in some cases keeps priests accused of sexual abuse in practice. In fact, at least two of the priests who appear in our base convicted on civil charges have been reinstated to the ecclesiastical exercise. Chilean bishops are unusual because they openly violate the standards of care and protections established by Pope Francis.

Q. Then, Pope Francis arrives in a country where his measures have not been met?

A. Clearly, the Vatican institution has shown itself in favor of bishops like Juan Barros, and former Monsignor Errázuriz, who have been accomplices, in some way, with the Karadima case and would normally be careful to say so, but there are documents and testimonies that establish These men are not fit to hold positions within the Church. If the Pope really wants to apply "zero tolerance" measures, he has to start by disciplining Church leaders who have put children in danger.

Q. What analysis do you make about the Chilean government's actions on this matter?

A. The Chilean government needs to carry out criminal investigations in the Catholic Church. To do that perhaps should start to create laws that enable it to persecute institutions such as the Church or people within it.]

Obispo Barros Tras Participar en Homilía del Papa: “Se Han Dicho Muchas Mentiras Respecto de lo Mío”

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Nación

>>Bishop Barros After Participating in the Pope's Homily: "Many Lies Have Been Told about My Situation"

January 16, 2018

By Rodrigo Pérez Maldonado

Pese a las diversas protestas organizadas en su contra, el obispo de Osorno (acusado de encubrir los crímenes de Fernando Karadima) acompañó al sumo pontífice.

Sin duda la gran polémica de las últimas horas a nivel nacional ha sido la presencia del obispo Juan Barros en la homilía del Papa Francisco. Pese a las distintas protestas que se organizaron en su contra, el obispo de Osorno -acusado de encubrir los crímenes de Fernando Karadima- acompañó al sumo pontífice.

A su salida del Parque O’Higgins, recinto en que se llevó a cabo la multitudinaria misa, la autoridad eclesiástica fue abordada por medios de prensa y fue enfático en sus declaraciones. “Se han dicho muchas mentiras respecto de lo mío”, remarcó, agregando que “la verdad es muy importante y la verdad es lo que tiene que primar”.

De igual modo, expresó que se sintió “sorprendido” por la carta de 2015 -conocida la semana pasada- donde el papa sugería que tomara un período sabático.

Barros dijo además que “mucha gente reza por mí y me manda mucho cariño“. En tanto, consultado sobre la visita del sumo pontífice, indicó que “el papa es grandísimo y su visita es de un provecho enorme. El papa ha sido muy afectuoso conmigo”.

Luego de estas declaraciones, surgieron diversas reacciones. El periodista Juan Carlos Cruz, una de las víctimas de Karadima, escribió en su cuenta de Twitter: “El Papa pide perdón por abusos en La Moneda. Otro buen titular que saca aplauso y ahí se queda. Otro titular barato. Basta de perdones y más acciones. Los obispos encubridores ahí siguen. Palabras vacías. Dolor y vergüenza es lo que sienten las víctimas”.

Por su parte, Rolando Jiménez, vocero del Movilh, subió el siguiente mensaje: “Papa pide perdón por abusos y en Parque O´Higgins está el protector de Karadima nombrado Obispo por este mismo Papa. Coherente ¿no?”.

También Marta Larraechea, esposa del ex Presidente Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, criticó al pontífice en su cuenta de Twitter: “Barros participa de la ceremonia en Parque O’Higgins, qué vergüenza. ¿De qué pide ‘disculpas’ el Papa? No le creo nada, dice una cosa y hace otra”.

[Google Translation: Despite the various protests organized against him, the Bishop of Osorno (accused of covering up the crimes of Fernando Karadima) accompanied the Supreme Pontiff.

No doubt the great controversy of the last hours at the national level has been the presence of Bishop Juan Barros in the homily of Pope Francis. Despite the various protests organized against him, the Bishop of Osorno - accused of covering up the crimes of Fernando Karadima - accompanied the Supreme Pontiff.

On leaving the O'Higgins Park, where the mass was held, the ecclesiastical authority was approached by the press and emphatic in its statements. "Many lies have been said about my own," he said , adding that "the truth is very important and the truth is what has to prevail."

Similarly, he said he was "surprised" by the letter of 2015 - known last week - where the pope suggested he take a sabbatical.

Barros also said that "many people pray for me and send me a lot of love ." Meanwhile, consulted about the visit of the Supreme Pontiff, he indicated that "the Pope is great and his visit is of enormous benefit. The Pope has been very affectionate with me. "

After these statements, various reactions emerged. The journalist Juan Carlos Cruz, one of the victims of Karadima , wrote on his Twitter account: "The Pope apologizes for abuses in La Moneda. Another good owner who gets applause and stays there. Another cheap holder. Enough of forgiveness and more actions. The hiding bishops there follow. Empty words. Pain and shame is what the victims feel. "

For his part, Rolando Jiménez , Movilh spokesman, uploaded the following message: "Pope apologizes for abuses and in Park O'Higgins is the protector of Karadima appointed Bishop by this same Pope. Coherent, right? "

Also Marta Larraechea , wife of former President Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, criticized the pontiff on his Twitter account: "Barros participates in the ceremony at Parque O'Higgins, what a shame. What does the Pope "apologize" for? I do not believe anything, says one thing and does another. " ]

Berríos y Puga rechazan presencia de Juan Barros en misa papal

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
diarioUchile

>>Berrios and Puga reject the presence of Juan Barros in papal mass

January 16, 2018

By Paula Campos

Justo cuando la transmisión oficial captó la presencia del obispo Juan Barros en la misa del Parque O´Higgins, se iniciaron las críticas por la permanencia del sacerdote en su cargo y su presencia en la misa papal.

Antes de que el Papa Francisco arribara al país distintas voces cercanas a la iglesia católica insistieron en la necesidad de que Juan Barros, obispo de Osorno, abandonara su cargo para no ser una mancha en el viaje apostólico iniciado este lunes 15 de enero. Sin embargo, aquello no ocurrió.

Desde su nombramiento, en enero de 2015, el obispo de la Diócesis de Osorno se ha visto envuelto en polémicas, todas apuntando al presunto encubrimiento de abusos sexuales y su cercanía con Fernando Karadima, sacerdote condenado canónicamente por cometer estos delitos contra menores.

Exactos dos años después de su nombramiento y luego de innumerables acciones encabezadas por un grupo de laicos de la sureña ciudad, el sacerdote asistió a la misa masiva del Parque O´Higgins, haciendo uso de su derecho por ser obispo titular, compartiendo suelo con aquellos que públicamente han pedido su salida.

[Google Translation: Just when the official transmission captured the presence of Bishop Juan Barros at the O'Higgins Park mass, criticisms were initiated for the priest's continued presence and his presence at the papal mass.

Before Pope Francis arrived in the country, several voices close to the Catholic Church insisted on the need for Juan Barros, bishop of Osorno, to leave his post so as not to be a stain on the apostolic journey begun on Monday, January 15. However, that did not happen.

Since his appointment in January 2015, the bishop of the Diocese of Osorno has been embroiled in controversy, all pointing to the alleged cover-up of sexual abuse and his closeness to Fernando Karadima, a canonically condemned priest for committing these crimes against minors.

Exactly two years after his appointment and after innumerable actions led by a group of laity from the southern city, the priest attended the massive mass of the O'Higgins Park, making use of his right to be titular bishop, sharing soil with those who have publicly asked for his departure.

Immediately the first reactions were generated, which pointed to the impertinence of his presence in the esplanade of the capital meeting center; also his explanations: "Many lies have been said about my own," Barros said when he was dismissed from the mass, when he was approached by a group of journalists. The bishop accused of covering up Fernando Karadima added that "the truth is what is important. And the truth is what has to prevail. "

Mariano Puga, one of the "workers' priests" who is now a parish priest in Villa Francia, joined the protests of the parishioners, rejecting the permanence of Barros in his position. "Neither left-handers, nor fools" said the posters with which the laity responded to what Francisco I once pointed out to them when he ratified the questioned Juan Barros.

The Jesuit Felipe Berrios openly criticized the presence of the prelate in the Park: "He should have had dignity," he said adding that his presence leaves a wound in the apostolic journey. "Leave the Pope in a difficult situation. It is violent for many people who are there. It violates me because it contradicts everything he said in Papa in La Moneda, "he said, referring to the pardon that the Supreme Pontiff asked for all cases of pedophilia carried out by the Chilean church.

In conversation with the Semáforo program, Álvaro Ramis, a theologian and doctor in Philosophy, recalled the controversy generated after the letter that Francisco himself wrote in 2015 was published. In the letter, the Pope shared with the nuncio Ivo Scapolo his determination to remove Barros and two other bishops from their positions, to leave the Chilean Catholic Church in a better position in relation to its parishioners, a plan that was rendered ineffective. appear by action of the Holy One's envoy to Chile.

The presence of Barros in mass mass is already commented on internationally. Neighboring countries pick up the annoyance and surprise at the presence of the Bishop at the Mass, right after the speech offered by the Pope in La Moneda.]

Barros, entre la renuncia y la rehabilitación

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

>>Barros, between renunciation and rehabilitation

January 16, 2018

By Juan Paulo Iglesias

La presencia del obispo de Osorno en los actos del Parque O’Higgins despertó dudas y polémicas. Para el biógrafo de Francisco lo que se vio fue la “rehabilitación del obispo Barros”.

“No será una visita simple”, dijo el secretario de Estado vaticano, Pietro Parolin, antes de embarcarse hacia Chile junto al Papa. Y los sucesos del segundo día de actividades lo dejaron claro, aunque fue otro tema el que concentró la atención de muchos vaticanistas que acompañan al Papa, más allá del pedido de perdón de Francisco por los abusos y el fuerte mensaje al clero que pronunció en la catedral: la situación del obispo de Osorno, Juan Barros.

La presencia del prelado en la misa que ofició el Pontífice sólo minutos después de su primer discurso en el Palacio de La Moneda fue el tema de varios medios especializados que cubren la visita y comentario obligado en la sala de prensa. Para el periodista Joshua McElwee, del National Catholic Reporter, la situación del prelado y la molestia contra Iglesia generó “una atmósfera en Santiago que no se había observado en ninguno de los otros 21 viajes” de Jorge Mario Bergoglio al extranjero en sus casi cinco años de Pontificado.

[Google Translation: The presence of the Bishop of Osorno in the acts of O'Higgins Park aroused doubts and controversy. For Francisco's biographer what was seen was the "rehabilitation of Bishop Barros."

"It will not be a simple visit," said the Vatican secretary of state, Pietro Parolin, before embarking to Chile with the Pope. And the events of the second day of activities made it clear, although it was another issue that focused the attention of many Vaticanists accompanying the Pope, beyond the request for forgiveness of Francisco for the abuses and the strong message to the clergy that he delivered in the Cathedral: the situation of the Bishop of Osorno, Juan Barros.

The presence of the prelate in the Mass that the Pontiff officiated just minutes after his first speech at the Palace of La Moneda was the subject of several specialized media that cover the visit and forced comment in the press room. For the journalist Joshua McElwee, of the National Catholic Reporter, the situation of the prelate and the annoyance against the Church generated "an atmosphere in Santiago that had not been observed in any of the other 21 trips" of Jorge Mario Bergoglio abroad in his almost five years of Pontificate.

The letter of the Pope revealed only days before his arrival in Santiago and where he expressed to the Chilean bishops his concern for the subject - and whose content has not been denied by the Holy See - only came to feed more the climate of tension that has surrounded the situation. For the Vaticanista of the newspaper La Stampa, Andrea Tornielli, and one of the veterans of the papal trips, the document of 2015 reveals that the Pope had another idea and was well aware of the problem. "But it is also clear that the Pope can not remove a bishop just because people say so," adds Tornielli, although "I believe that a man of faith would have to think about the good of his faithful and the diocese and that if he represents a matter of resistance, of division, I would have to recognize it and say I'm going for a year, two years, until the tension subsides. "

However, other Vaticanists differ from Tornielli and claim that it is Francisco himself who is determined to keep it. "I think the plan has been to show that Barros is a bishop like the others," says Pope biographer and founder of Catholic Voices, Austen Ivereigh, because according to him, "the Pope believes in his innocence." "It was important for the Pope that Barros was present at today's events and that he appear as one more bishop," adds the British journalist.

Ivereigh goes even further: "I think that this fact, together with the fact that Bishop Barros gave several interviews, makes him consider what happened as the rehabilitation of Monsignor Barros." In the same line of Ivereigh, other Vaticanists say that it is the Pontiff himself and not Barros who has shown a harder position for the prelate to continue in Osorno. For Tornielli, however, considering the consequences that the case has had and the situation in which the Chilean Church finds itself, "what would be needed would be a minimum of ecclesial awareness and knowing that none is indispensable (...). Humility would be the key to solving the case of Barros. "]

Lawsuit dismissed against late priest, former Notre Dame principal

WICHITA FALLS (TX)
Times-Record

January 15, 2018

By Claire Kowalick

A lawsuit was dismissed by District Judge David Evans in Tarrant County related to charges of sexual abuse by a now-deceased priest and a former principal of Notre Dame Middle/High School.

In March 2015, Jason Lloyd Montgomery filed the suit against the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth and Bishop Michael F. Olson, claiming he was sexually abused by the late Rev. John Sutton when he was a Notre Dame student in 1990-1992.

He later amended the suit adding a claim that the school’s principal at the time, Ron Staley, also sexually abused him.

The Fort Worth Diocese released a statement Wednesday saying they investigated the allegations and found no evidence to support the claims made in the lawsuit.

No other allegations of sexual misconduct have been made against Sutton or Staley

Byrnes closes theological institute

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

January 16, 2018

By Haidee V. Eugenio

A theological institute that the Neocatechumenal Way used to operate has officially closed, a week after the movement's former seminary also closed.

Both facilities operated in the Archdiocese of Agana's property that used to be the Accion Hotel in Yona. The Yona property is one of 41 assets that the archdiocese said could be sold to help settle the now more than 150 Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed against the archdiocese.

Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes signed a decree officially ceasing the operations of the Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores Catholic Theological Institute for Oceania, effective Jan. 9.

Byrnes said the decision came after a committee review of the institute's nature of inception and operation, the model for which is not sustainable for the archdiocese.

The archbishop said the decision was also in consultation with the Presbyteral Council, the College of Consultors, and the Archdiocesan Finance Council.

Pope Francis plans talks with Pinochet dictatorship victims during Chile visit

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
The Independent

January 11, 2018

Pope Francis is to meet with two victims of Chile's military dictatorship during his upcoming trip and is not ruling out a private encounter with victims of clerical sex abuse.

Spokesman Greg Burke made the comments while announcing details of the January 15-21 trip to Chile and Peru, Francis' 22nd foreign trip and the sixth to his home continent of South America.

The encounter with two victims of the 1973-1990 Pinochet regime will take place on January 18 in the northern city of Iquique.

Mr Burke was asked if Francis would meet with abuse victims and while he said no meeting was planned, "that doesn't mean it's impossible". He added that such meetings are best when conducted in private.

He said it was "clearly an important theme" in Chile, where the scandal has seriously hurt the Catholic Church's credibility.

Just this week, online database www.BishopAccountability.org said it had found 78 priests or members of religious orders credibly accused or convicted of abuse against minors.

The Latest: Pope meets with Chileans abused by priests

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via Washington Post

January 16, 2018

The latest on the pope’s visit to Chile (all times local):

9:10 p.m.

Pope Francis has met with a small group of Chilean victims of sex abuse by priests.

That is according to Vatican spokesman Greg Burke.

Burke told reporters that the meeting happened Tuesday at lunch. It was in the middle of the pope’s first full day in Chile, which included celebrating on outdoor Mass, meeting with the Chilean president and visiting a women’s prison.

Burke did not provide more details about the meeting victims.

Earlier in the day, Francis asked for forgiveness for the abuses committed against minors by priests.

Francis himself has been the center of controversy in Chile. In 2015, the pope appointed a bishop who had been close to the Rev. Fernando Karadima, the country’s most notorious pedophile priest.

___

5:40 p.m.

Pope Francis is telling Chile’s priests that sexual abuse of children not only has caused pain to the victims but also to the priests who have been held collectively responsible for the crimes of a few.

At a meeting Tuesday in Santiago’s cathedral, Francis urged priests and nuns to have the strength to ask for forgiveness for abuse and the “clear-sightedness to call reality by its name.”

Francis denounced the “weeds of evil” that had sprung up as a result of the scandal, and said he appreciated how the church was responding to it. He said the scandal was particularly painful “because of the harm and sufferings of the victims and their families, who saw the trust they had placed in the church’s ministers betrayed. Pain too for the suffering of ecclesial communities, and pain for you brothers and sisters, who after working so hard, have seen the harm that has led to suspicion and questioning; in some or many of you this has been a source of doubt, fear or lack of confidence.”

He said at times, some had even been insulted in the metro and that by wearing clerical attire they had “paid a heavy price.” But he urged them to press on.

Francis tells Chile's clergy to seek pardon for abuse and betrayed trust

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

January 16, 2018

By Joshua J. McElwee

Pope Francis has asked Chile's Catholic clergy to have the fortitude to ask forgiveness from those who were abused by priests, saying abuse survivors had their trust in the church betrayed and that clerics should seek to "call reality by its name."

But the pontiff also acknowledged the discomfort experienced by priests not caught up in the scandal, telling hundreds of clergy gathered for a meeting Jan. 16 at Santiago's Cathedral of the Assumption he knows they operate now in an atmosphere of suspicion.

"I know the pain resulting from cases of abuse and I am attentive to what you are doing to respond to this great and painful evil," Francis told the clergy, before listing several of types of pain caused by the abuse.

* * *

One of the organizers of the leading Catholic clergy sexual abuse tracking website called Francis' comments to the clergy Jan. 16 an indication that he does not understand the scope of the clergy sexual abuse crisis.

"These remarks reveal the pope’s own lack of clear-sightedness," said Anne Barrett Doyle, who helps run BishopAccountability.org. "The 'reality' that he should call by its name is the reality of collusion, apathy and cowardice among priests."

"The pope could have delivered a very different message," said Barrett Doyle. "He could have urged priests to face their own complicity in the secrecy that shrouds clergy sex abuse."

"This is another missed opportunity, another indication that Pope Francis still doesn’t get it," she said.

In Chile, Pope Francis Apologizes for ‘Irreparable Damage’ Caused by Sexual Abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

January 16, 2018

By Ernesto Londoño

Pope Francis said on Tuesday that he was “pained and ashamed” over the “irreparable damage” priests had inflicted on minors, as he offered Chileans an apology during his first visit to their country as pontiff.

“It is just to ask for forgiveness and to support victims with as much strength as possible, even as we take steps to ensure that this never happens again,” the pope said during an address in Santiago, Chile’s capital, attended by President Michelle Bachelet.

The remarks were the pope’s latest effort to contain the fallout from a series of sexual abuse scandals that have contributed to the decline of Catholicism in several regions, including Latin America.

But victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy in Chile said the pope’s words rang hollow.

“It’s not the time for apologies anymore, it’s the time for action,” said Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean who was abused by a priest when he was a 17-year-old seminarian. “Here in Chile there are bishops who have witnessed abuse and who have covered that up and who have abused as well and they are still in their position. The pope should remove them.”

* * *

Anne Barrett Doyle, the co-director of BishopAccountability.org, a group that tracks abuse cases in the church, said the pope’s remarks in Santiago were “strong but familiar.” Francis last year acknowledged that the church had been slow to respond to allegations of abuse and said that “pedophilia is a sickness.”

Ms. Doyle, whose group last week published a database of nearly 80 Chilean clergymen who have been accused of abuse, said she hoped the pope would commit to undertaking a sweeping investigation of past cases.

“If the pope leaves Chile without committing to investigate complicit church leaders, the public’s already deep distrust of the church will intensify,” Ms. Doyle said.

Papa Francisco en Chile: dura crítica de la esposa del ex presidente Eduadro Frei a Bergoglio: "No le creo nada"

BUENOS AIRES (ARGENTINA)
Clarin

January 16, 2018

>>Pope Francis in Chile: harsh criticism of Bergoglio from former president Eduadro Frei's wife : "I do not believe anything"

La ex primera dama reaccionó así al pedido de perdón del pontífice por los abusos a menores. Fue al advertir que en la misa de hoy participó un obispo acusado de encubrir a un pedófilo.

Una de las voces más duras este martes contra el Papa Francisco y sus palabras de recogimiento por las denuncias de pedofilia fue la de la ex Primera Dama chilena, Marta Larraechea. La mujer es la esposa del ex mandatario Eduardo Frei uno de los líderes históricos del partido Demócrata Cristiano chileno.

En un implacable mensaje en la red Twitter se sumó a los cuestionamientos al sostener sobre el Papa “no le creo nada, dice una cosa y hace otra”.

Criticó enseguida al polémico clérigo Juan Barros, señalado por ocultar estos crímenes pero que de todos modos fue ascendido por Jorge Bergoglio al cargo de obispo de Osorno. El obispo estuvo este martes en la misa que ofreció el Papa. "Barros participa de la ceremonia en Parque O’Higggins, qué vergüenza, de qué pide ‘disculpas’ el Papa “, se preguntó la ex Primera Dama.

En la misma línea se pronunció el periodista Juan Carlos Cruz, víctima de los abusos sexuales cometidos por el cura Fernando Karadima, uno de cuyos aliados principales fue justamente el obispo Barros.

[Google Translation: The former first lady reacted thus to the pontiff's request for pardon for the abuse of minors. It was when he noticed that a bishop accused of covering up a pedophile had participated in the mass today.

Photo caption: The Bishop of Osorno, Juan Barros, during the Mass of Pope Francis, this Tuesday in Santiago.

One of the toughest voices against Pope Francis on Tuesday and his words of recollection for the denunciations of pedophilia was that of the former Chilean First Lady, Marta Larraechea. The wife is the wife of former president Eduardo Frei, one of the historic leaders of the Chilean Christian Democrat Party.

In an implacable message on the Twitter network, he joined the questioning of the Pope, "I do not believe anything, he says one thing and he does another."

He immediately criticized the controversial cleric Juan Barros, who was accused of hiding these crimes but was promoted by Jorge Bergoglio to the post of Bishop of Osorno anyway . The bishop was on Tuesday at the Mass offered by the Pope. "Barros participates in the ceremony at Parque O'Higggins, what a shame, what does the Pope" apologize for ", the former First Lady asked herself.

In the same line, the journalist Juan Carlos Cruz, victim of the sexual abuses committed by the priest Fernando Karadima, one of whose main allies was just Bishop Barros, was pronounced.

"The Pope apologizes for abuses in (his speech in) La Moneda. Another good headline that takes applause and stays there. Another cheap holder. Enough of forgiveness, more actions. The hiding bishops there follow. Empty words. Pain and shame is what the victims feel, "he said in his Twitter account.

Karadima is a priest accused of numerous crimes linked to pedophilia and illicit enrichment. He was not, however, prosecuted for justice because his crimes were prescribed. In addition, the Church as the only punishment ordered him to seclude and pray and prevented him from continuing to officiate mass. But, later, images appeared where the priest showed himself presiding over these ceremonies.

In an interview with the US network CNN of Chile, the journalist said, later, that in the Vatican "they are cowards, they say this for the headlines, but when we ask them to come together and tell them our story, nothing happens. He keeps the version of people like Ricardo Ezzati (metropolitan archbishop of Santiago) or Francisco Javier Errazuriz (cardinal, archbishop emeritus of Santiago) ".

"The only thing they have done is slapping us. When we accused of being abused by the monster, he took our hands," Cruz concluded, referring to Karadima and the curia.

Barros reacted by assuring that "many lies have been said" and that he has never witnessed abuse. Cruz returned there to the charge, in statements to Tele13 Radio: "Tell me in my face, he was present, and sorry if I'm raw, when Karadima touched my genitals, when he made me kiss him and did that with others. And Juan was standing there, when he also hugged and kissed with Karadima and we saw several, "he shot.]

In Chile, pope met with protests, passion and skepticism

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via Washington Post

January 15, 2018

By Nicole Winfield and Eva Vergara

Pope Francis flew in to Chile’s capital Monday night for a visit expected to be met with protests over sexual abuse by priests and confronted by many Chileans deeply skeptical about the Roman Catholic Church.

It’s the pope’s first visit to the Andean nation of 17 million people since taking the reins of the church in 2013. It comes at a time when many Chileans are furious over Francis’ 2015 decision to appoint a bishop close to the Rev. Fernando Karadima, who the Vatican found guilty in 2011 of abusing dozens of minors over decades.

The Rev. Juan Barros, bishop of the southern city of Osorno, has always denied he knew what Karadima was doing when he was the priest’s protege, a position that many Chileans have a hard time believing.

“It’s not just time for the pope to ask for forgiveness for the abuses but also to take action,” said Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of Karadima.

Cruz added that if it wasn’t possible to jail bad bishops, “at the very least they can be removed from their positions.”

After deplaning, Francis was greeted by President Michelle Bachelet and a band played while the two walked on a red carpet as night began to fall. The pope traveled in a black sedan to the center of the city, flanked by several cars. He then transferred to a popemobile, waving to small crowds of well-wishers who lined up along avenues.

Crowds were notably thin, particularly compared to papal visits in other Latin American countries.

“The laypersons don’t have to parrot back whatever we say”

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Stampa / Vatican Insider

January 16, 2018

By Andrea Tornielli

Francis meets the Episcopal Conference of Chile and denounces the risk of clericalism in the Chilean Church, “Let us be on guard, please, against this temptation, especially in seminaries”. As pastors “we are part of God’s people, not an élite”

In the last meeting of his first intense Chilean day (five appointments and five speeches), Pope Francis met briefly the bishops of the country in the cathedral of Santiago de Chile. A short meeting that becomes an opportunity to recall the hierarchies not to fall into clericalism and to consider themselves part of God’s people, without treating the laity as "peons" who must "parrot back whatever" bishops and priests say.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Pope greeted the world's oldest bishop, 102-year-old Bernardino Piñera Carvallo, who participated as a conciliar father in the four sessions of Vatican II.

Francis then stressed the importance of the fatherhood of the bishop with his presbyterate, "A fatherhood that neither paternalism nor authoritarianism, but a gift to be sought. Stay close to your priests, like Saint Joseph”.

He therefore called for the recovery of the conscience of "being a people", "One of the problems facing our societies today is the sense of being orphaned, the feeling of not belonging to anyone. This “postmodern” feeling can seep into us and into our clergy. We begin to think that we belong to no one; we forget that we are part of God’s holy and faithful people and that the Church is not, nor will it ever be, an élite of consecrated men and women, priests and bishops. Without this consciousness of being a people we will not be able to sustain our life, our vocation and our ministry”.

Laicos de Osorno y víctimas de Karadima se manifiestan en las cercanías de la Catedral

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Cooperativa

>>Lay of Osorno and victims of Karadima manifest in the vicinity of the Cathedral

January 16, 2018

- La agrupación osornina grita consignas contra el obispo Juan Barros.

- En tanto, víctimas del ex párroco protestan con globos negros.

Mientras el papa Francisco encabeza una liturgia para sacerdotes, religiosos, consagrados y seminaristas en la Catedral Metropolitana, algunas manifestaciones pacíficas se registran en sus inmediaciones.

En calle Compañía, un grupo de laicos de Osorno protesta en forma pacífica gritando consignas en contra del obispo de la ciudad, Juan Barros, sindicado como encubridor de los abusos cometidos por el sacerdote Fernando Karadima.

[Google Translation: The Osorno group shouts slogans against Bishop Juan Barros.

Meanwhile, victims of the former pastor protest with black balloons.

While Pope Francis leads a liturgy for priests, religious, consecrated and seminarians in the Metropolitan Cathedral , some peaceful demonstrations are recorded in its vicinity.

On Calle Compañía, a group of lay people from Osorno protest peacefully shouting slogans against the city's bishop, Juan Barros , accused of covering up abuses committed by priest Fernando Karadima .

While some of the victims of former pastor also were present in the vicinity of the capital temple demonstrating with black balloons, also rejecting the presence of Barros in papal activities.

One of Karadima's victims, journalist Juan Carlos Cruz , said he expects nothing from Pope Francisco.

"One always expects a greater gesture, but Pope Francis does not wait a long time because it is pure and nothing concrete, the time to ask for forgiveness and to talk about abuses and everything has happened a long time ago, now it is about taking concrete actions" he added.]

Papa: Veo con preocupación comunidades que quieren mostrarse más que tocar la realidad

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Cooperativa

>>Pope: I see with concern communities that want to show themselves more than touching reality

January 16, 2018

El pontífice además volvió a referirse a los abusos contra menores.

"Sigo con atención cuanto hacen para superar ese grave y doloroso mal", aseguró.

Durante la liturgia realizada en la Catedral Metropolitana con sacerdotes, religiosos, consagrados y seminaristas, el papa Francisco reiteró su "dolor" por los casos de abusos sexuales cometidos por integrantes de la iglesia en contra de menores.

En el encuentro religioso, el pontífice deslizó una crítica a ciertas comunidades "que viven arrastradas más por la desesperación de estar en cartelera, por ocupar espacios, por aparecer y mostrarse, que por remangarse y salir a tocar la realidad sufrida de nuestro pueblo fiel".

Asimismo, consideró que la Iglesia Católica vive un momento de "turbulencias".

"Conozco el dolor que han significado los casos de abusos ocurridos a menores de edad y sigo con atención cuanto hacen para superar ese grave y doloroso mal. Dolor por el daño y sufrimiento de las víctimas y sus familias, que han visto traicionada la confianza que habían puesto en los ministros de la Iglesia", dijo en la liturgia.

[Google Translation: - The pontiff also referred again to the abuses against minors.

- "I follow closely what they do to overcome this serious and painful evil," he said.

During the liturgy held in the Metropolitan Cathedral with priests, religious, consecrated and seminarians, Pope Francis reiterated his "pain" for cases of sexual abuse committed by members of the church against children.

At the religious meeting, the pontiff slipped a critique of certain communities " that live dragged more by the desperation of being on the billboard, to occupy spaces, to appear and show, to roll up and go out to touch the suffering of our faithful people" .

He also considered that the Catholic Church is experiencing a moment of "turbulence".

"I know the pain that cases of abuses have caused to minors and I follow with attention how much they do to overcome this serious and painful evil, pain for the damage and suffering of the victims and their families, who have seen the trust that has been betrayed they had put on the ministers of the Church, "he said in the liturgy.

He also expressed his sorrow for the members of the Church who have suffered the consequences of the abuses committed by some religious.

"Pain for the suffering of ecclesial communities, and pain also for you, brothers, that in addition to the wear and tear of surrender have experienced the damage caused by suspicion and questioning, which in some or many may have introduced doubt, fear and distrust, "added Francisco.

"I know that sometimes they have suffered insults in the subway or walking down the street, that going 'dressed as a priest' in many places is 'paying dearly', which is why I invite you to ask God to give us the lucidity of calling the reality by its name, the courage to ask for forgiveness and the ability to learn to listen to what He is telling us, "stressed the leader of the Catholic Church.

The pontiff arrived at the place on board the popemobile after visiting the San Joaquin Women's Penitentiary Center , where he held a meeting with more than 400 inmates.

Later he will close the day with a visit, scheduled at 7:15 p.m., to the Shrine of Father Alberto Hurtado, where he will meet with members of the Society of Jesus in Chile, a congregation of which he is a part.]

Pope Francis addresses authorities in Chile: Full text

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Vatican News

January 16, 2018

By Pope Francis

We bring you the full text [translated into English] of Pope Francis' address to Chile's government authorities, civil societies, and the diplomatic corps at the La Moneda Palace, while on his Apostolic Visit to Chile.

It is a joy for me to stand once again on Latin American soil and begin this visit to Chile, this land so close to my heart, which welcomed and schooled me in my younger years. I would like my time with you also to be a moment of gratitude for that welcome. I think of a stanza of your national anthem: “How pure, Chile, are your blue skies / How pure the breezes that sweep across you / And your countryside embroidered with flowers / Is the very image of Eden”. It is a true song of praise for this land, so full of promises and challenges, but especially of hope for the future.

* * *

The ability to listen proves most important in this nation, whose ethnic, cultural and historical diversity must be preserved from all partisan spirit or attempts at domination, and inspire instead our innate ability to replace narrow ideologies with a healthy concern for the common good (which without being communitarian will never be a good). It is necessary to listen: to listen to the unemployed, who cannot support the present, much less the future of their families. To listen to the native peoples, often forgotten, whose rights and culture need to be protected lest that part of this nation’s identity and richness be lost. To listen to the migrants who knock on the doors of this country in search of a better life, but also with the strength and the hope of helping to build a better future for all. To listen to young people and their desire for greater opportunities, especially in education, so that they can take active part in building the Chile they dream of, while at the same time shielding them from the scourge of drugs that rob the best part of their lives. To listen to the elderly with their much-needed wisdom and their particular needs. We cannot abandon them. To listen to children who look out on the world with eyes full of amazement and innocence, and expect from us concrete answers for a dignified future. Here I feel bound to express my pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the Church. I am one with my brother bishops, for it is right to ask for forgiveness and make every effort to support the victims, even as we commit ourselves to ensuring that such things do not happen again.

Why Pope Francis's trip to Chile poses a challenge

LONDON (ENGLAND)
BBC

January 16, 2018

By Eva Ontiveros

When the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that Pope Francis's trip to Chile would not be an easy one, it was no exaggeration.

In the pontiff's 22nd overseas visit, he will meet an unprecedented degree of hostility on his native continent.

When asked to evaluate Pope Francis on a scale of 0 to 10, Chileans gave him a score of 5.3, the lowest ranking for any Pope.

Trust in the Catholic Church as an institution fared even worse, polling at just 36% - the lowest in Latin America.

With such a low rating, it is not surprising that before boarding his plane from Rome, Pope Francis asked his congregation to pray for him.

Chile is a land of contrasts. It is estimated that more than 60% of the population identifies itself as Christian, and 45% belongs to the Catholic Church. But it is also the second most secular country in Latin America.

Some 38% of Chileans regard themselves as agnostic, atheist or non-religious.

So what are the three main challenges the Pope will face on his Chilean trip?

Carta del Papa revela preocupaciones sobre obispo chileno

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via Houston Chronicle

January 11, 2018

Por Eva Vergara and Nicole Winfield

[Note: This is a Spanish translation of the original article. See also the letter.]

[Leer en español: Carta del Papa Francisco al Comité Permanente de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile Sobre el Obispo Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid de Osorno]

El Vaticano estaba preocupado por los daños colaterales que provocaría el caso del mayor cura pederasta de Chile e intentó poner en marcha un plan: pedir la renuncia y darles un año sabático a tres obispos chilenos acusados de haber encubierto los abusos de ese sacerdote.

The Associated Press obtuvo una carta confidencial del papa Francisco, fechada el 31 de enero de 2015, la cual revela parte de un plan del Vaticano sobre cómo lidiar con los obispos chilenos señalados de proteger los crímenes del cura Fernando Karadima.

La carta también muestra las preocupaciones de los obispos por la designación que Francisco hizo de uno de esos tres obispos, Juan Barros, como responsable de la diócesis de Osorno, en el sur de Chile. El nombramiento provocó una importante división entre fieles y clérigos, e incluso llevó en su momento a cientos de católicos y curas a protestar contra el nuevo obispo de la zona.

Pope begs forgiveness for ‘irreparable’ harm from sex abuse

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via Washington Post

January 16, 2018

By Peter Prengaman and Nicole Winfield

[Note: This AP report is an updated and more detailed version of the report posted in Tracker earlier today.]

Pope Francis begged for forgiveness Tuesday for the “irreparable damage” done to children who were raped and molested by priests, opening his visit to Chile by diving head-first into a scandal that has greatly hurt the Catholic Church’s credibility here and cast a cloud over his visit.

Francis faced controversy on another front as well: Overnight three more Catholic churches were torched, including one burned to the ground in the southern Araucania region where Francis will visit on Wednesday to meet with Chile’s indigenous peoples. While not causing any injuries, the nine church firebombings in the past few days have marked an unprecedented level of protest against history’s first Latin American pope on his home turf.

In Santiago, though, an estimated 400,000 jubilant Chileans turned out in droves for his first public Mass, a massive gathering in the capital’s O’Higgins park where St. John Paul II celebrated Mass three decades ago. Before the service began, Francis took a long, looping ride in his popemobile through the grounds to greet well-wishers, some of whom had camped out overnight to secure a spot.

In his first event of the day, Francis met privately with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and addressed lawmakers, judges and other authorities at La Moneda palace. They interrupted him with applause when he said he felt “bound to express my pain and shame” that some of Chile’s pastors had sexually abused children in their care.

“I am one with my brother bishops, for it is right to ask forgiveness and make every effort to support the victims, even as we commit ourselves to ensuring that such things do not happen again,” he said.

Francis didn’t refer by name to Chile’s most notorious pedophile priest, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, who was sanctioned in 2011 by the Vatican to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” for sexually molesting minors. Nor did he refer to the fact that the emeritus archbishop of Santiago, a top papal adviser, has acknowledged he knew of complaints against Karadima but didn’t remove him from ministry.

Pope Francis apologizes for clergy sex abuse in Chile: Response by Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director, BishopAccountability.org

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
BishopAccountability.org

January 16, 2018

The Pope's words in Santiago this morning were strong but familiar. This Pope has apologized similarly before, and so have his predecessors.

What's different is that the Pope opened his visit with this apology, rather than tucking it in later.

Expectations were high, and now they are higher. One hopes the Pope understands that an apology not followed by decisive action will deepen the crisis in Chile. The Chileans are weary of words, and they are savvy. They want Bishop Barros removed, and they see that as only a first step. Chilean bishops openly violate the Pope's promises of zero tolerance of abuse. They insult the intelligence of Chilean Catholics and they put children at risk. These other church leaders, like Cardinal Ezzati, must also be disciplined.

If the Pope leaves Chile without committing to investigate complicit church leaders, the public's distrust of the church will intensify. This is a crucial opportunity for Francis: with luck, he will not make the mistake of his brother bishops in underestimating the astuteness and moral outrage of the Chilean people.

Last week, BishopAccountability.org published a database of nearly 80 publicly accused clergy in Chile. While we believe these represent just a fraction of the actual total of accused Chilean clergy, the cases taken as a whole yield a striking portrait of the situation in the Chilean church. Compared to the U.S. and Australia, the Chilean church is distinctive in several respects:

a) Chilean church leaders openly reinstate priests who have been found guilty of abuse under canon or civil law, flouting the standard of zero tolerance established by the Pope. See the cases of Cristian Precht, Julio Dutilh Ros and Francisco Javier Cartes Aburto, C.M.F.

b) The database features a surprising number of superiors of religious orders, such as Pedro Mariano Labarca Araya, O. de M. (the Mercedarians ), Héctor Valdés, M.S.F.S. (the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales), and Eugenio Valenzuela, S.J. (the Jesuits, Pope Francis' own order).

c) The database largely comprises abuse that occurred after 2000, a result of the church's refusal to release information, Chile's victim-hostile criminal statute of limitations, and the weakness of its tort laws. There is almost no public record of abuse that happened in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

Click here to see BishopAccountability.org's database (in English and Spanish):

Publicly Accused Priests, Brothers, Sisters, and Deacons in Chile

Sacerdotes, hermanos, hermanas y diáconos que han sido denunciados públicamente en Chile

Pope Francis begs forgiveness for Chile priest sex abuse

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via NBC

January 16, 2018

Pope Francis on Tuesday begged the forgiveness of Chileans for the "irreparable damage" done to children who were sexually abused by priests.

Francis opened his visit to Chile by referring directly to the abuse scandal in a speech to President Michelle Bachelet, lawmakers, justices and other Chilean authorities. The scandal has eroded the credibility of the Catholic Church in the country and cast a shadow over his visit, the first by a pope in three decades.

Francis said he felt "bound to express my pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the church." He said he joined his fellow bishops in asking forgiveness, supporting victims and ensuring abuse doesn't happen again.

Chile's Catholic Church had already begun losing relevance when in 2010 it was found to have covered up for a prominent and powerful priest who sexually abused minors in his posh Santiago parish over decades. The Vatican eventually sanctioned the priest, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, in 2011, but the church has yet to recover from the scandal.

Many Chileans are still furious over Francis' 2015 decision to appoint a bishop who had been the priest's protege. Bishop Juan Barros of the southern city of Osorno has always denied he knew what Karadima was doing, but many Chileans have a hard time believing that.

"Sex abuse is Pope Francis' weakest spot in terms of his credibility," Massimo Faggioli, a Vatican expert and theology professor at Villanova University in Philadelphia, said ahead of the visit. "It is surprising that the pope and his entourage don't understand that they need to be more forthcoming on this issue."

The Latest: Small crowds greet pope on first visit to Chile

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via WSB-TV

January 15, 2018

The latest on Pope Francis' visit to Latin America (all times local):

9:20 p.m.

Thousands of people have lined avenues in Chile's capital to get a glimpse of Pope Francis as he passes by in his popemobile.

But compared to papal visits to other Latin American countries, the crowds are very thin, in many areas a single line of people.

Francis' first visit to Chile as the head of the Roman Catholic Church comes at a time when many Chileans are skeptical of the church and even angry over one of the pope's decisions. In 2015, Francis appointed a bishop who had been close to the Rev. Fernando Karadima, who abused dozens of minors over decades.

Some people cheered "Long live the pope!" when he passed by.

Others carried signs criticizing the pope or extolling him to act. "Stop the abuse, Francis!" read one sign. "You can so you must!"

___

7:15 p.m.

Pope Francis has landed in Chile, where protests are expected over his decision to appoint a bishop who was close to the Andean nation's most notorious pedophile priest.

Francis' arrival Monday night marks his first visit to Chile since becoming pope in 2013.

After deplaning, he'll meet with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.

Over the next three days, Francis is scheduled to celebrate Mass in Santiago, the southern city of Temuco and the northern city of Iquique. On Thursday, the pope will go to Peru.

The Pope, “Pain and shame for the irreparable damage caused to children”

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Stampa / Vatican Insider

January 16, 2018

By Andrea Tornielli

In his first speech in Chile, Francis asked forgiveness for the violence committed by priests, “make every effort to support the victims, as we commit ourselves to ensuring that such things do not happen again”. And calls on the political authorities to listen to the poor and “native peoples whose rights and culture need to be protected”

In the country of Catholic Latin America, where the Church has lost much of its credibility in the face of public opinion and where protests are rife, Francis chooses to begin by asking forgiveness. In the face of the scandal caused by the case of Father Fernando Karadima, a charismatic and influential priest found guilty by the Holy See of child abuse in 2011, and other cases in Chile, Pope Bergoglio states that he feels “pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the Church”. According to BishopAccountability. org, about 80 Catholic priests have been accused of child abuse since 2000.

* * *

Taking the floor, Francis recalled that Chile “has distinguished itself in recent decades by the growth of a democracy that has enabled steady progress”. He noted that the recent general elections, which led to the appointment of the new President Sebastián Piñera Echenique, were a demonstration “of the solidity and civic maturity” that you have achieved, which takes on particular significance in this year marking the two-hundredth anniversary of the declaration of independence”. The Pope recalls, alluding to the dictatorship without naming it, that the Chilean people “had to face several turbulent times but managed to overcome them, not without pain”. Francis therefore recalled that peace and rights should never be taken for granted and that “Each new generation must take up the struggles and attainments of past generations, while setting its own sights even higher”. “Goodness - he explained - together with love, justice and solidarity, are not achieved once and for all; they have to be realized each day”.

Bergoglio invited not to forget that in Chile, despite his economic and social achievements, “many of our brothers still endure situations of injustice that none of us can ignore”. Here, then, is the challenge, “ to continue working to make this democracy, as your forebears dreamed, beyond its formal aspects, a true place of encounter for all” and where “everyone, without exception, feels called to join in building a house, a family and a nation”. A “generous and welcoming” Chile, with a people and political authorities capable of “listening”.

“This ability to listen - he continued - proves most important in this nation, whose ethnic, cultural and historical diversity must be preserved from all partisan spirit or attempts at domination, and inspire instead our innate ability to replace narrow ideologies with a healthy concern for the common good”. It is necessary, “to listen to the unemployed, who cannot support the present, much less the future of their families”. Listen “to the native peoples, often forgotten, whose rights and culture need to be protected lest that part of this nation’s identity and richness be lost”. We must listen to “the migrants who knock on the doors of this country in search of a better life, but also with the strength and the hope of helping to build a better future for all”. It is necessary “to listen to young people and their desire for greater opportunities, especially in education, so that they can take active part in building the Chile they dream of, while at the same time shielding them from the scourge of drugs that rob the best part of their lives.” And, “To listen to the elderly with their much-needed wisdom and their particular needs. We cannot abandon them”.

Francis then asked to “ To listen to children who look out on the world with eyes full of amazement and innocence, and expect from us concrete answers for a dignified future. “And here - he said - I feel bound to express my pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the Church. I am one with my brother bishops, for it is right to ask for forgiveness and make every effort to support the victims, even as we commit ourselves to ensuring that such things do not happen again”.

Finally, Bergoglio invites us – especially today – to give preferential attention to our common home: to foster a culture that can care for the earth, and thus is not content with merely responding to grave ecological and environmental problems as they arise. This calls for boldly adopting “a distinctive way of looking at things, a way of thinking, policies, an educational programme, a lifestyle and a spirituality which together generate resistance to the assault of the technocratic paradigm” that allows powerful economic interests to prevail over natural ecosystems and, as a result, the common good of our peoples.

Pope, in Chile, expresses 'pain and shame' over Church sex abuse scandal

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Reuters

January 16, 2018

By Philip Pullella and Dave Sherwood

[Note: See the Latinobarometro study mentioned in this article.]

Pope Francis expressed his “pain and shame” on Tuesday over a sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church in Chile, seeking forgiveness for a crisis that has scarred its credibility and left many faithful sceptical of reform.

“Here I feel bound to express my pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the Church,” he said in the presidential palace, drawing sustained applause from his listeners.

Francis was making his first official address of the trip in the presence of President Michelle Bachelet, other Chilean top officials, cardinals, bishops and foreign diplomats.

“I am one with my brother bishops, for it is right to ask for forgiveness and make every effort to support the victims, even as we commit ourselves to ensuring that such things do not happen again,” he said.

Catholics have been upset with Francis’ 2015 appointment of Bishop Juan Barros to head the small diocese of Osorno in south-central Chile. Barros has been accused of protecting his former mentor, Father Fernando Karadima, whom a Vatican investigation found guilty in 2011 of abusing teenage boys over many years. Karadima has denied the allegations and Barros said he was unaware of any wrongdoing.

But the scandal has gripped Chile, and, along with growing secularization, has hurt the standing of the Church that had been praised for defending human rights during the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

Anger Over Clerical Sex Abuse Awaits Pope in Chile

NEW YORK (NY)
Wall Street Journal

January 16, 2018

By Ryan Dube and Francis X. Rocca

Osorno, Chile and Vatican City - Pope Francis’ visit this week renews protests from victims of influential Santiago priest.

Pope Francis ’ three-day visit to Chile will draw attention to what activists describe as one of the most conspicuous weaknesses of his nearly five-year-old pontificate: his failure to take enough action to protect children from clerical sex abuse and punish priests for perpetrating it.

When the Argentine pope arrives in Santiago Monday to begin his sixth visit to Latin America, he will set down in a traditionally Catholic country where revelations of clerical sex abuse have damaged the image of the church, and where the pope’s handling of the problem has drawn particular criticism.

“His record is a disaster,” said Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean sex-abuse victim and an organizer of protests planned for the pope’s visit. “People are absolutely disgusted with the way he’s handled abuse and how he’s treated us.”

* * *

After a Vatican inquiry concluded in 2011 that Fr. Karadima was guilty of abusing minors, he was ordered to a life of prayer and penitence.

Accusations of abuse were also lodged that year with civil authorities. A Chilean court declined to prosecute the case, citing a statute of limitations that put allegations dating back to 1980 outside the law’s reach.

Fernando Karadima being escorted from a Santiago court in 2015 after testifying in a case brought by three victims of sexual abuse.

Fr. Karadima is still living in the capital, according to a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Santiago. Attempts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful. In a 2015 court appearance in Santiago, he insisted on his innocence of all sex-abuse charges.

* * *

Mario Vargas, a spokesman for the Lay Organization in Osorno, which has led efforts to have Bishop Barros removed from the diocese, said the group plans to demonstrate during Pope Francis’ visit to Santiago. The group has asked for a meeting with the pope during his visit to the capital, as has a group of Fr. Karadima’s victims. The Vatican spokesman said Thursday no meeting with victims was scheduled but didn’t rule one out.

Joining protesters in Santiago will be a former member of the Vatican’s commission for the protection of minors, Peter Saunders, who resigned from the body last month after extensively criticizing Pope Francis, including for his appointment of Bishop Barros.

January 15, 2018

Statement Regarding Rev. Jonathan Shelley

ST. PAUL (MN)
Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Website

January 11, 2018

By Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda

Father Jonathan Shelley has been authorized to return to limited ministry, serving those who are in prisons and jails in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

Father Shelley has been out of ministry since June 2012, after it was determined that there was pornography on his computer in the early 2000s. The computer evidence was investigated by law enforcement, the case was presented to a prosecutor’s office and a determination was made to not file criminal charges. Prior to Father Shelley’s return to ministry, the Archdiocese’s Ministerial Review Board (MRB) thoroughly reviewed and discussed his case. The MRB recommended to Judge Tim O’Malley, Director of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment, that Father Shelley be allowed to return to ministry in this limited capacity. Judge O’Malley agreed with that recommendation and I have concurred.

Father Shelley will be serving under the direction and guidance of a deacon who serves as the Coordinator of Corrections Ministry for the Archdiocese. In addition, as with any person ministering in a secure facility, Father Shelley’s activities will be subject to the security and oversight procedures of the Minnesota Department of Corrections and any county facilities visited.

Church credibility in focus as Pope heads for Latin America

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

January 14, 2018

By Philip Pullella

Pope Francis starts a trip to Chile and Peru on Monday, attempting to inject new confidence in the staunchly Catholic countries where the Church’s credibility has been severely damaged by sexual abuse scandals.

On his visit to Peru, the second leg of the Jan. 15-22 tour, Francis will also find a destabilizing political corruption crisis has reopened wounds from one of the country’s darkest periods of human rights abuses.

In Chile, where the Argentine pope arrives on Monday night, Catholics have planned daily protests against his 2015 appointment of Bishop Juan Barros to head the small diocese of Osorno, a small city south of the Chilean capital.

Barros has been accused of protecting his former mentor, Father Fernando Karadima, whom a Vatican investigation in 2011 found guilty of abusing teenage boys over many years. Karadima has denied the allegations and Barros said he was unaware of any wrongdoing.

The situation for the Church was complicated last week by the leak in Chile of a 2015 letter from the pope to local bishops showing that the Vatican had planned to ask Barros to take a one-year leave at the end of his previous post in 2014. That plan went awry and Barros was appointed to Osorno.

Card. Parolin: il 2018 di Francesco all’insegna di giovani e famiglia

VATICAN CITY
Vatican News [the Vatican's recently launched consolidated news service]

>>Cardinal Parolin: Francis's 2018 will be in the name of youth and family

January 11, 2018

By Alessandro Gisotti

Intervista al segretario di Stato vaticano sui temi forti del 2018 per il Papa e la Santa Sede
Alessandro Gisotti – Città del Vaticano

L’imminente viaggio apostolico in Cile e Peru, il Sinodo sui giovani, l’Incontro mondiale delle famiglie a Dublino e ancora Amoris Laetitia e la riforma della Curia Romana. Sono i temi forti dell’intervista rilasciata dal cardinale Pietro Parolin a Vatican News. Il segretario di Stato vaticano si sofferma innanzitutto sulle grandi aspettative che la Chiesa nutre nei confronti dei giovani, nell’anno che vedrà la celebrazione del Sinodo dedicato alla gioventù, il prossimo ottobre, preceduto da un pre-Sinodo a marzo:

* * *

E’ sempre l’incontro con le Chiese, è sempre l’incontro con la comunità cristiana. Il Papa va da pastore della Chiesa universale per incontrare delle Chiese locali; naturalmente, Chiese che sono particolarmente vivaci, particolarmente attive come la Chiesa in Cile, come la Chiesa in Perù e che d’altra parte, anche, si trovano ad affrontare numerose sfide di fronte alla realtà del mondo di oggi. Sono tante le sfide! Accenno a due, in particolare, che stanno molto a cuore al Papa. La prima è la sfida della popolazione indigena, degli indigeni: e qui faccio riferimento anche al Sinodo sull’Amazzonia che è stato convocato dal Papa recentemente e che si terrà nel 2019; quindi, qual è il ruolo, qual è il contributo di queste popolazioni all’interno dei singoli Paesi, delle loro società, e per dare un contributo anche a queste società. Poi, un tema che il Papa sente forte e sul quale è tornato con parole anche molto marcate, quello della corruzione, che impedisce lo sviluppo e che impedisce anche il superamento della povertà e della miseria. Credo che sarà un viaggio non semplice, ma sarà davvero un viaggio appassionante.

[Partial Google Translation: It is always the meeting with the Churches, it is always the meeting with the Christian community. The Pope goes as pastor of the universal Church to meet with local Churches; naturally, Churches that are particularly lively, particularly active as the Church in Chile, as the Church in Peru, and which, on the other hand, also face many challenges facing the reality of today's world. There are so many challenges! I refer to two, in particular, that are very dear to the Pope. The first is the challenge of the indigenous population, of the natives: and here I also refer to the Synod on the Amazon that was convened by the Pope recently and to be held in 2019 ; therefore, what is the role, what is the contribution of these populations within individual countries, their societies, and to make a contribution to these societies. Then, a theme that the Pope feels strong and on which he returned with words also very marked, that of corruption, which prevents development and which also prevents the overcoming of poverty and misery. I think it will not be a simple journey, but it will really be an exciting journey.]

El Papa inicia un viaje que “no será simple”, según el Vaticano

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

>>The Pope begins a journey that "will not be simple", according to the Vatican

January 14, 2018

By Juan Paulo Iglesias

El secretario de Estado, Pietro Parolin, que acompañará al Pontífice durante su recorrido por Chile y Perú, reconoció que “no será un viaje simple”.

“Mañana (hoy) iré a Chile y Perú. Les pido que me acompañen con la oración en este viaje apostólico”, pidió el Papa Francisco al final de su tradicional saludo del Angelus, que pronuncia los domingos desde el Palacio Apostólico. En la Plaza San Pedro algunos aplausos, un par de banderas chilenas y peruanas, y un grupo de jóvenes con un extenso lienzo donde se podía leer buon viaggio recibieron las palabras del Pontífice, quien sólo un par de horas antes había celebrado una misa en la Basílica de San Pedro con ocasión de la jornada mundial de los migrantes y los refugiados. Bajo un cielo parcialmente nublado y apenas ocho grados -muy distinto a las temperaturas que recibirán al Papa en Chile-, el tradicional pedido de oración que hace el Pontífice cuando emprende alguna peregrinación fuera del Vaticano tenía esta vez una cercanía mayor y se leía, inevitablemente, a la luz de los últimos acontecimientos producidos en Chile, como el ataque incendiario a la Iglesia de San Agustín, de la comuna de Melipilla.

En una entrevista concedida al nuevo sitio de noticias del Vaticano, Vatican News, el secretario de Estado, Pietro Parolin, quien acompañará al Pontífice durante su recorrido por Chile y Perú, reconoció que la cuarta visita a Sudamérica de Francisco “no será un viaje simple”, aunque luego agregó: “Pero, definitivamente, será apasionante”.

[Google Translation: The Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, who will accompany the Pontiff during his tour of Chile and Peru, acknowledged that "it will not be a simple trip."

"Tomorrow (today) I will go to Chile and Peru. I ask you to accompany me with prayer on this apostolic trip, "Pope Francis asked at the end of his traditional Angelus greeting, which he pronounces on Sundays from the Apostolic Palace. In the Plaza San Pedro some applause, a couple of Chilean and Peruvian flags, and a group of young people with an extensive canvas where you could read Buon Viaggio received the words of the Pontiff, who only a couple of hours before had celebrated a mass in the St. Peter's Basilica on the occasion of the world day of migrants and refugees. Under a partly cloudy sky and barely eight degrees -very different from the temperatures that will receive the Pope in Chile-, the traditional prayer request that the Pontiff makes when he undertakes a pilgrimage outside the Vatican had this time a greater closeness and was read,

In an interview with the Vatican's new Vatican news website, Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, who will accompany the Pontiff during his visit to Chile and Peru, acknowledged that Francisco's fourth visit to South America "will not be a simple trip ", But then added:" But definitely, it will be exciting. "

"The Pope as pastor of the universal Church is going to find the local churches (...), particularly active churches, but they have to face many challenges," the cardinal said. Among these, Parolin highlighted two: the situation of indigenous populations - a topic that the Pope would address during his visit to Temuco - and the corruption that, he said, "prevents the development and overcoming of poverty and misery."

A few words that, added to the latest events in Chile and Peru, have been collected by various Vatican analysts, who highlight the complexity of the visit that the Pontiff will begin today, at 19.55, when the Boeing 777 of Alitalia that transports it lands in Pudahuel, after about 16 hours of flight.

For Andrea Tornielli, one of the journalists closest to the Pontiff and editor of the Vatican Insider site, Francisco's visit to Chile will be a complex journey. "The protests in Santiago, the resentment toward the Church by the cases of pedophilia and the Mapuche question make it difficult for the Pope to visit," he wrote in an article published last Saturday, where he warns about the effects that the recent revelation could have. of a letter in which the Pope recognizes before the Chilean episcopate the problems of the situation of the Bishop of Osorno, Juan Barros.

In addition, Tornielli assures that in order to reverse what he describes as "loss of credibility of the Chilean Church in public opinion", he must "know how to move outside the pre-established programs and the protocols of a trip that is pre-announced complicated." According to Tornielli, the trip undertaken by Francisco, "which was expected to be a peaceful return to his Latin America and countries he knows well", may be one of the most complex of his five years of pontificate.

Like Tornielli, the American religious site Crux, of the Vaticanist John Allen, also addressed the difficulties of the visit, especially the effects that pedophilia cases have had on both the Chilean and the Peruvian Church. For the journalist Inés San Martín, the complexity of the trip of the Pontiff is clear in the words of Cardinal Parolin: "It will not be a simple visit".

But apart from these concerns and as usual before each trip, Pope Francis visited on Saturday the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome to entrust his pilgrimage to the Virgin, and yesterday left the day at 10.00 with the Mass for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

A celebration that brought together about 10,000 people in the Basilica of San Pedro and in which the Pope made a strong call to welcome migrants, despite what he called "legitimate fears and doubts that their arrival generates in the populations local".

The Pontiff also stated in his message that "the collective and arbitrary expulsions of migrants and refugees are not a suitable solution, especially when they are carried out in countries that can not guarantee respect for dignity or fundamental rights."

The Mass brought together representatives of communities from 49 countries present in Rome, including the Chilean Marisol Silva, who has been in Italy for 17 years and was in charge of carrying the Chilean flag during the ceremony. "It was a great emotion," said the woman, who collaborates in the mission of Spanish-American immigrants in Rome.]

Sudamérica, el terreno conocido del Papa Francisco

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

>>South America, the known terrain of Pope Francis

January 14, 2018

By Antonio Frieser R.

[Note: Includes useful map of visits by Pope Francis to Latin American countries.]

Por cuarta vez, el Pontífice llega al subcontinente, donde ha asumido un rol pacificador de los conflictos de una historia que conoce bien.

Hoy, cuando el Papa Francisco comience su recorrido por Chile, nuestro país se transformará en el sexto destino que el Pontífice visita en Sudamérica desde que asumió el mando de la Iglesia Católica, en marzo de 2013.

Voy “como peregrino de la alegría”, “conozco la historia de sus países, fraguada con tesón, entrega”, dijo Francisco en un mensaje de video emitido el pasado martes en Chile y Perú, países que forman parte de su nuevo viaje.

[Google Translation: For the fourth time, the Pontiff reaches the subcontinent, where he has assumed a pacifying role in the conflicts of a history he knows well.

Today, when Pope Francis begins his tour of Chile, our country will become the sixth destination that the Pontiff has visited in South America since he assumed command of the Catholic Church in March 2013.

I go "as a pilgrim of joy", "I know the history of their countries, set with determination, dedication," Francisco said in a video message broadcast last Tuesday in Chile and Peru, countries that are part of his new trip.

Less than two months after serving five years at the head of the Vatican and 81 years, the Argentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio has stamped a stamp of austerity and closeness to the poorest throughout his 21 trips outside Italy, where he has visited 31 countries on four different continents.

And from that long list, the first country visited by the Pontiff was Brazil, where there are the largest number of Catholics in the world. According to the Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae 2015, published by the Vatican, there are 1,285 million Catholics on the planet, of which 49% are in South America, and 172.2 million of them are Brazilian.

During his six-day visit, the Pope participated in the XXVIII edition of the World Youth Day that was held in Rio de Janeiro. And among his challenges was the challenge of revitalizing Catholicism and showing the stamp of his pontificate.

He also visited the Varguinha favela, where months before the Rio police had inaugurated a Pacifying Police Unit (UPP), to disrupt organized crime and drug trafficking in those sectors of the city.

On that occasion, Francisco said: "I appeal to all those who have more resources, public authorities and all people of good will committed to social justice: do not get tired of working for a more just and more supportive world." In addition, the Pontiff urged the Latin American bishops to "love poverty" and not behave as "princes", in what was interpreted as a clear allusion of the imprint he intended to impose on the Catholic Church.

In July 2015, Bergoglio returned to Latin America, this time responding to an invitation from the then presidents of Ecuador, Rafael Correa; Bolivia, Evo Morales; and Paraguay, Horacio Cartes.

At that time, the spokesman of the Vatican, Federico Lombardi, explained the election of those countries saying that it was considered "the variety and wealth of the different ethnic groups and populations of those countries: the indigenous groups, the mestizo reality and the local languages, like Quechua, Aymara, Guarani. "

True to his seal, "the Pope wanted to go to the least important and important countries. That was his first criterion, "concluded Lombardi.

With visits to Quito and Guayaquil, the Pope faced political tensions in favor and against the Correa government. In his meeting with the president, Francisco said in his speech that "the Ecuadorian people have stood up with dignity." Correa attributed the phrase to the changes that the country was experiencing and what he called "citizen revolution", but Francisco later clarified that the phrase had been instrumentalized and that he had referred to the border conflict between Ecuador and Peru and the ability of Ecuadorians to get up and take "more and more awareness of their dignity."

In Bolivia, the Pope's visit was marked by the maritime theme. Although in his first years of government he had pointed to the Catholic Church as part of his opponents, President Evo Morales greeted the Pontiff saying: "Welcome to a land that has been mutilated access to the sea through an invasion." Francisco responded by saying later: "I'm thinking about the sea. Dialogue. Dialogue is indispensable "to avoid conflicts with sister countries," referring to the dispute with Chile.

In Paraguay, Francisco called on young people to "make a mess and organize it well", in reference to an active participation in the country's social changes.

The Pontiff's last stop on his home continent was Colombia, where his message was aimed primarily at the reconciliation of the Colombian people in the framework of the 2016 peace agreement, which ended more than half a century of hostilities. "May this effort make us flee from any temptation to revenge and seek only particular and short-term interests." He added that we must "heal wounds and build bridges".]

A newly-begun journey, an already-written script, and the “unexpected”

VATICAN CITY
La Stampa / Vatican Insider

January 15, 2018

By Gianni Valente

The chaos of the Latin American scenarios alone is enough to make the framework - that reads Bergoglio’s international projections with the same formulas used in the reading of Karol Wojtyla’s pontificate - appear misleading. The icon of “Superstar Pope “ is now used by those who want to polarize attention on him, by separating him from the Church, to then rattle off his “failures”. It wouldn’t take much, however to get rid of this pre-established “script”.

On the eve of Pope Francis’ journey to Chile and Peru, tensions, discontents and even violent acts unleash on the umpteenth apostolic visit of the Bishop of Rome to his home continent. As the media is warming up its engines to present the Latin American trip as a kind of “gripping test” of Bergoglio’s pontificate.

Burning parishes in the name of alleged indigenous causes, and a beat-down Church after years of sexual abuse perpetrated by religious, priests, and high-profile exponents from the local clergy are awaiting the Pope in Chile. While in Peru, a Society of Apostolic Life of Peruvian origin, which in the past had enjoyed good ties within the Vatican, was just put under the administration of an external commissioner by the Holy See, following some serious accusations of sexual abuses involving their leadership.

Furthermore, Francis’ next landings in Chile and Peru have stirred up controversy in his own country of origin. On the Argentinean social media, there are those posting a flurry of resentful comments on the “traitor Pope”, who, almost five years after his pontifical election, has avoided returning to his homeland despite having visited almost all the great countries of South America. And while tens of thousands of compatriots travel to Santiago to see Bergoglio, the Argentine bishops implicitly confirm the excessive conflict surrounding their illustrious compatriot, by spreading a letter in which they remind that: “No one spoke or can speak on behalf of the Pope” and that” his contribution to the reality of our country must be found in his abundant teaching and his attitudes as pastor, not in tendentious and partial interpretations that only widen the division between Argentineans”.

El Papa Francisco aseguró que su visita a Chile “no será difícil”

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

>>Pope Francisco assured that his visit to Chile "will not be difficult"

January 14, 2018

"Estudié aquí y tengo muchos amigos y conozco bien Chile", declaró el líder de la Iglesia Católica durante su vuelo rumbo al país.

El papa Francisco aseguró hoy que su visita a Chile “no será difícil” porque estudió allí, tiene muchos amigos y lo conoce bien, durante el vuelo hacia este país.

“Para mí no será un viaje difícil. Estudié aquí y tengo muchos amigos y conozco bien Chile”, comentó a los 70 representantes de los medios de comunicación, entre ellos EFE y el enviado especial de La Tercera, Juan Paulo Iglesias, que viajan con él.

[Google Translation: "I studied here and I have many friends and I know Chile well," declared the leader of the Catholic Church during his flight to the country.

Pope Francis said today that his visit to Chile "will not be difficult" because he studied there, has many friends and knows him well , during the flight to this country.

"For me it will not be a difficult trip. I studied here and I have many friends and I know Chile well , "he told the 70 representatives of the media, including EFE and the special envoy of La Tercera, Juan Paulo Iglesias , who travel with him.

On Peru he explained that he knew less because he had been alone three times "for agreements or meetings".

Francisco lived for one year, in 1960, in Chile in the novitiate of the Jesuits.

"We will have time to rest and work," he said, remembering that it is the longest direct flight, 15 hours and 40 minutes (12,123 kilometers) that the Alitalia airline has, as well as the longest he has done during his pontificate.

"I wish you a good trip. I have been told from Alitalia that it is the longest direct flight that Alitalia has, 15 hours and 40 minutes. We will have time to rest and work. Thank you for your hard work, three days in one country and three in another. "

At the beginning of the trip, the journalists were distributed a photograph and the Pope explained its meaning later.

"I found it by case, it's 45 and it's a boy with his little brother dead on his back waiting for his turn before the crematorium in Nagasaki after the bomb. It moved me when I saw it and I just wanted to write: the fruit of war and I thought about printing it, "he said.

"Because it moves more than a thousand words," he added.

Francisco then went on to greet the 70 journalists, photographers and cameras that accompany him on this Latin American journey.]

AP Explains: Catholic Church in Chile weakened by scandal

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via WRAL

January 15, 2018

By Peter Prengaman

Leer en español: AP Explica - Cómo se debilitó la Iglesia en Chile

When Pope Francis arrives in Chile's capital Monday, he will find a weakened Roman Catholic Church. As in many Latin American countries, the church in Chile has been losing followers to both evangelical faiths and increasing secularism. The shift has been exacerbated by a priest sex abuse scandal, and many Chileans are put off by the church's influence in keeping tight restrictions in social matters like marriage and abortion. Here are some of the contributing factors to the Chilean church's problems.

Sex Abuse Scandals

Always well dressed, the Rev. Fernando Karadima seemed an ideal priest among the elite in Santiago. But he had a dark side, sexually abusing dozens of minors over decades while church superiors either looked the other way or covered up for him.

Allegations against Karadima went back to the 1980s, but the full weight of his actions didn't become widely known until victims went public in 2010. In 2011, the Vatican found him guilty of sexually abusing minors.

The statute of limitations had passed for him to be tried criminally, though, and Karadima's only punishment was being sent by the church to a convent to spend the rest of his life in prayer, angering many Chileans. He is there to this day.

[Also includes sections on:
- Pope's Controversial Appointment
- Bishops Then and Now
- Divorce
- Abortion]

Pope will highlight indigenous issues and the Amazon during his trip to South America

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

January 15, 2018

By Patrick J. McDonnell, Tracy Wilkinson, and Chris Kraul

Santiago - Pope Francis on Monday begins a weeklong visit to Chile and Peru that is expected to highlight the plight of the continent's indigenous peoples, the decimation of the Amazon rainforests and the struggles of immigrants and the poor.

The trip will mark the Argentine pope's fourth visit to South America, following his trip to Colombia in September.

A series of gasoline firebomb attacks on Roman Catholic churches in Chile before the pope's arrival has dramatized tensions in the church here, which has been riven by cases of clergy sexual abuse.

No one was injured in the attacks overnight Friday on three churches in the capital, and damage was minimal from the crude strikes with gasoline-filled bottles. But following the incidents, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet called on Chileans to receive the pope in a "climate of respect."

* * *

On Wednesday, the pontiff is slated to travel to the central city of Temuco to celebrate Mass and meet with Mapuche representatives. Several Mapuche leaders condemned the firebombings and rejected violence as a means of social change, a sentiment echoed by other Chilean officials.

"There is no place for violence in a democracy," said Claudio Orrego, regional governor of the Santiago area.

Also in Chile, victims of clergy sexual abuse have been pushing for a meeting with the pope during his visit here, though no such meeting had been formally scheduled.

Dangerous to believe worst of abuse behind us, says bishop

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

January 14, 2018

By Patsy McGarry

To relax would be ‘a profound error which would compound the historical failures’, conference hears.

A Catholic bishop has said that ignorance about the effects of child abuse in the past compounded its harmful effects on the lives of many young and vulnerable people.

“People of my generation began our adult lives with almost no awareness of the pervasiveness and impact of abuse in our society and in all societies,” Catholic Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy said.

“As a consequence, failure to recognise and respond appropriately to the complex issues which abuse presents, has at times compounded the profound and harmful impact on the lives of many young and vulnerable persons,” he said.

“In recent weeks, millions have joined the social media conversation using the hashtag #MeToo, or its equivalent, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram; women and men denouncing harmful sexual experiences. Many are revealing for the first time, via social media, their own stories. While the majority of those sharing #MeToo stories are adult women, a large number of the shared stories reveal sexual abuse that began when they were still minors,” he said.

Clergy abuse database releases new names in Chile

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

January 10, 2018

By Joshua J. McElwee

The leading Catholic clergy sexual abuse tracking website has identified nearly 80 priests in Chile that have been publicly accused of sexually abusing minors, releasing their names online just days before Pope Francis is to visit the country.

BishopAccountability.org calls the list only a sampling of the number of Chilean priests who have likely committed abuse, saying that unlike in the U.S., the church in Chile has yet to face substantial outside investigation into its handling of sexual misconduct.

"This list — is a fraction of the total number of accused clerics who would be known if Chile's church leaders were required to report to law enforcement, if its legal system allowed victims more time to bring criminal and civil charges, or if dioceses and religious orders were investigated by prosecutors or state commissions," the group notes in a statement accompanying the database.

Francis is to visit Chile Jan. 15-18 as part of a two-country tour that includes a visit to neighboring Peru Jan. 18-22.

Local observers say attention during the Chilean visit may center on how the pope can help the country's church regain trustworthiness after a recent spate of cases of clergy sexual abuse.

But the pope himself has also been criticized for his record on the abuse issue, especially his 2015 appointment of Bishop Juan Barros Madrid of Osorno, Chile. Barros has been accused of protecting notorious abuser Fr. Fernando Karadima in the 1980s and '90s.

Pope's visit to Peru and Chile casts harsh light on handling of sexual abuse cases

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

January 12, 2018

By Dan Collyns in Lima and Piotr Kozak in Santiago

Criticism that Pope Francis is failing to tackle allegations of abuse, in the wake of scandals in both countries, is likely to overshadow his week-long visit

Pope Francis leaves Rome this weekend for a tour of Chile and Peru amid renewed accusations that he is failing to tackle allegations of clerical sexual abuse after scandals in both countries.

The visit comes as the pope seeks to shore up the Catholic church faith against the loss of followers in two of South America’s most conservative nations.

During the week-long visit, the pope will also travel to the Amazon city of Puerto Maldonado in Peru, where he will meet indigenous leaders and is expected to expand on the environmental message of his 2015 encyclical on climate change.

But the tour is likely to be overshadowed by the issue of sexual abuse within the church.

Earlier this week, the Vatican took over a Peru-based Catholic sect whose founder has been accused of sexual and psychological abuse. Meanwhile, in Chile – where the pope arrives on Monday – activists have promised protest every day of the visit over his 2015 appointment of a bishop accused of covering up for one of the country’s most notorious paedophiles.

Disgraced priest to give evidence at Scottish child abuse inquiry

EDINBURGH (SCOTLAND)
The Scotsman

January 15, 2018

By John Jeffay

A disgraced priest who sexually abused young boys in care is to give evidence at the Scottish child abuse inquiry.

Sex offender Bernard Traynor, 64, has been called to give his testimony after allegations about him were made to the inquiry by former residents at Smyllum Park in Lanark last month.

Two former residents told Lady Smith, who leads the inquiry, they were sexually abused by Traynor after they were moved to another orphanage run by the same Catholic order in Newcastle.

One witness said he was sexually abused by Traynor at a caravan park in Scarborough in the 1970s.

Another former Smyllum resident said Traynor had sexually abused him at the Wallis’s Holiday Camp in Cayton Bay, Scarborough.

He also said the abuse continued at the St Vincent’s children’s home in Newcastle, run by the Daughters of Charity of Vincent de Paul, for “two or three years” afterwards.

Pope seeks to turn tide of Chilean church bruised by scandal

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via Washington Post

January 15, 2018

By Nicole Winfield and Eva Vergara

Pope Francis’ visit to Chile was always going to be fraught, but it has taken on an unprecedented degree of opposition with the firebombings of Catholic churches ahead of his Monday arrival and protests by Chileans fed up with priest sex abuse and cover-up.

Francis is coming to a country where around 60 percent of Chileans declare themselves to be Roman Catholics, but where the church has lost the influence and moral authority it once enjoyed thanks to sex scandals, secularization and an out-of-touch clerical caste.

“I used to be a strong believer and churchgoer,” said Blanca Carvucho, a 57-year-old secretary in Santiago. “All the contradictions have pushed me away.”

The pope will try to reverse the trend during his three-day visit, which gets underway in earnest Tuesday with a series of protocol visits for church and state, and will be followed by a three-day trip to neighboring Peru.

In Chile, he plans sessions with migrants, members of Chile’s Mapuche indigenous group and victims of the 1973-1990 military dictatorship. It remains to be seen if he will meet with sex abuse survivors. A meeting isn’t on the agenda, but such encounters never are.

Chile’s church earned wide respect during the regime of Gen. Augusto Pinochet because it spoke out against the military’s human rights abuses, but it began a downward spiral in 2010 when victims of a charismatic, politically connected priest came forward with allegations that he had kissed and fondled them.

Local church leaders had ignored the complaints against the Rev. Fernando Karadima for years, but they were forced to open an official investigation after the victims went public and Chilean prosecutors started investigating. The Vatican in 2011 sentenced Karadima to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” for his crimes, but the church leadership hasn’t won back Chileans’ trust for having covered up Karadima’s crimes for so long.

Priests clash over ‘sinister’ advice for meeting bishops

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

January 15, 2018

By Patsy McGarry

Kildare and Leighlin diocesan priests rebuke suggestion to ‘prepare for worst’ if called

Catholic priests in Kildare and Leighlin diocese have taken strong exception to “the sinister and false suggestion” from the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) “that a diocesan priest must always prepare for the worst if he is ever called to meet his bishop.”

In a letter to the ACP leadership team, Fr Gerard Breen, secretary to the Council of Priests in Kildare and Leighlin diocese, said the council “strongly disagreed” with contents of a card sent by the ACP advising what a priest should do if called to meet his bishop.

Fr Breen recalled how at a meeting of the Council “one of our priests commented that ‘the card has put a far greater distance between the diocesan priests and the ACP than it has between diocesan priests and their bishops.’All members of the council agreed with this statement,” he said.

He said it was proposed the council write a letter the the ACP “to express our disagreement with the card and the negative impression it advanced about the relationship between diocesan priests and their bishops.”

The card, issued by the ACP last year, is intended to help priests who may be summoned to meet a bishop, possibly in connection with abuse allegations. Designed to fit in a wallet, its seven pointers are in keeping with recommendations of the Catholic Church’s child protection watchdog, its National Board for Safeguarding Children, the ACP said.

January 14, 2018

Anne Barrett-Doyle elaboró lista con 78 casos de abusos de la Iglesia en Chile

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Las Últimas Noticias

>>Anne Barrett-Doyle drew up a list of 78 cases of abuses by the Church in Chile

January 14, 2018

''La visita del Papa es una oportunidad para comenzar a limpiar la casa''

BishopAccountability es una organización estadounidense que se propuso registrar odas las denuncias contra sacerdotes católicos.

By Rodrigo Sepúlveda S.

Si vio la película "Spotlight" hasta el final, quizá recuerde que cuando la pantalla se fundia a negro aparecia una lista de 200 lugares donde se habfan producido denuncias de abusos sexuales por parte de sacerdotes católicos. "Nos aseguramos de incluir ciudades chilenas en esa lista (aparecen mencionadas Providencia, Maipu y Santiago)'', cuenta Anne Barrett Doyle, una de las personas que participó en la elaboración de la nómina y miembro de Bishop Accountability, organización surgida en Boston, EE.UU., en 2003, y que se propuso crear un archivo público permanente sobre la crisis de abusos sexuales que afecta a la Iglesia Católica en el mundo.

Barrett Doyle está de visita en Santiago, donde presentó un nuevo listado, esta vez solo sobre Chile. En él (http://www.bishop-accountability.org/Chile/Banco-de-Datos/) se contabilizan 78 casos de sacerdotes y diáconos, hermanos y hermanas que han sido denunciados por abusos sexuales en el país. " Nuestro equipo recopiló información de la cobertura de los medios de comunicación y los registros judiciales en línea. No incluimos denuncias basadas en rumores o informes privados. Además, restringimos la base de datos a clérigos católicos acusados de abusar sexualmente de menores. No incluimos casos de sacerdotes cuyas Únicas supuestas víctimas eran adultos en el momento del abuso", delalla Barrett·Doyle sobre el listado chileno.

[Partial Google Translation: If you watched the movie "Spotlight" to the end, you may remember that when the screen was blacked out there was a list of 200 places where there had been reports of sexual abuse by Catholic priests. "We made sure to include Chilean cities in that list (Providencia, Maipu and Santiago were mentioned)," says Anne Barrett Doyle, one of the people who participated in the preparation of the list of names and a member of Bishop Accountability, an organization that emerged in Boston, USA, in 2003. Its mission is to create a permanent public archive about the crisis of sexual abuse that affects the Catholic Church in the world.

Barrett Doyle is visiting Santiago, where she presented a new list, this time only on Chile. In it (http://www.bishop-accountability.org/Chile/Banco-de-Datos/) there are 78 cases of priests and deacons, brothers and sisters who have been denounced for sexual abuse in the country. "Our team compiled information on media coverage and online court records; we did not include reports based on rumors or private reports, and we restricted the database to Catholic clergymen accused of sexually abusing minors. We didn't include priests whose only alleged victims were adults at the time of the abuse," says Barrett Doyle.]

Vocero de los Laicos y Obispo de Osorno: "La tolerancia cero del Papa es tolerancia infinita"

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
24 Horas

>>Spokesman for the Laity and Bishop of Osorno: "The Pope's zero tolerance is infinite tolerance"

January 12, 2018

Juan Carlos Claret apuntó al poder que tendría el círculo cercano de Fernando Karadima en la administración de Jorge Bergoglio y a las interrogantes que pone sobre la mesa la carta del Sumo Pontífice filtrada el pasado jueves.

Luego de conocerse una carta confidencial del Papa Francisco sobre un supuesto plan para pedirle la renuncia a Juan Barros y darle un año sabático antes de reacomodarlo en labores administrativas; el vocero de los Laicos de Osorno, Juan Carlos Claret, se manifestó sobre las dudas que genera la misiva y cuestionó el manejo del Sumo Pontífice ante los casos de abusos sexuales al interior de la Iglesia Católica.

El escrito - de Francisco I de enero de 2015- menciona una estrategia para alejar de sus funciones a los sacerdotes involucrados como supuestos encubridores de los casos de abuso sexual del ex párroco de la Capilla de El Bosque Fernando Karadima. Todo esto previo a la nominación de Barros como Obispo de Osorno.

[Google Translation: Juan Carlos Claret pointed to the power that would have the close circle of Fernando Karadima in the administration of Jorge Bergoglio and the questions put on the table the letter of the Supreme Pontiff filtered last Thursday.

After knowing a confidential letter from Pope Francisco about a supposed plan to ask for the resignation of Juan Barros and give him a sabbatical year before rearranging him in administrative tasks; the spokesman of the Laity of Osorno, Juan Carlos Claret, spoke about the doubts generated by the letter and questioned the Supreme Pontiff's handling of cases of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.

The letter - by Francisco I of January 2015 - mentions a strategy to remove from its functions the priests involved as alleged cover-up of cases of sexual abuse of the former pastor of El Bosque Chapel, Fernando Karadima. All this prior to the nomination of Barros as Bishop of Osorno.

The letter raises doubts about the interventions after that date that the Supreme Pontiff had before the case, where even in a video he treated "lefties" and "fools" to those who asked for Barros' departure from office.

"In the video the Pope makes a serious mistake, because he says that the only accusation against Juan Barros was discredited, but there is no accusation as far as we know against the bishop." Karadima's victims ask for a warrant and the Supreme Court asks in May to the Vatican the background, but Rome in September 2016 says that he will not give the background, that is, he recognizes that there is something, but that he is simply not going to hand it over to the Chilean justice, "says Claret.

The representative of the Laity points to the power that would have the circle of Fernando Karadima in the current administration of Jorge Bergoglio, which had been diminished in the mandate of Joseph Ratzinger.

" The biggest question in this letter is that it demonstrates that the Pope's zero tolerance for abuses is not zero tolerance, but that it is infinite tolerance ." This is what is shown by a Pope who does not have all the conviction, having everything the power to do it, to be able to put an end to the abuses not only to the authors, but to the concealers, "the spokesman said.

"Mercy misunderstood leads to impunity," adds Juan Carlos Claret.

Claret also assured that they have no expectations that the Pope will receive them to talk, even after the document is revealed.

"From Osorno we have no expectation if for three years practically the Chilean Church has forced the Osorno church to beg and we have tried to reach the Pope in repeated ways and the Pope did not want to hear us knowing all the information and has decided to treat us fools, "he said.]

Víctimas de Karadima lideran velatón en la Catedral de Santiago por miles de abusos sexuales

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
ADNradio

>>Victims of Karadima lead velatón in the Cathedral of Santiago for thousands of sexual abuse victims

January 14, 2018

[Note: Includes video of speech by Juan Carlos Cruz Chellew.]

Exigen la salida del obispo de Osorno, Juan Barros.

Más de veinte de personas del grupo de laicos de Osorno realizaron una velatón en el frontis de la Catedral de Santiago durante la madrugada, con el fin de exigir la salida del obispo de la ciudad Juan Barros, a quien se le sindica como encubridor de los abusos sexuales cometidos por Fernando Karadima.

La protesta se da sólo 48 horas antes antes del arribo del Papa Francisco a Chile, quien ha sido criticado por el nombramiento de Barros.

La manifestación estuvo liderada por Juan Carlos Cruz Chellew, José Andrés Murillo, Peter Sanders, Anne Barrett Doyle, Timothy y amigos de la Parole Libérée. Todos ellos, representando a más de 10 mil víctimas de abusos por parte del clero al rededor del mundo.

[Google Translation: They demand the departure of the Bishop of Osorno, Juan Barros.

More than twenty people from the group of laity from Osorno made a velatón at the front of the Cathedral of Santiago during the early hours of the morning, in order to demand the departure of the bishop of the city Juan Barros , who is accused of hiding the sexual abuse committed by Fernando Karadima.

The protest occurs only 48 hours before the arrival of Pope Francis in Chile, who has been criticized for the appointment of Barros.

The demonstration was led by Juan Carlos Cruz Chellew, Jose Andres Murillo, Peter Sanders, Anne Barrett Doyle, Timothy and friends of Parole Libérée. All of them, representing more than 10 thousand victims of abuses by clergy around the world

The morning of this Sunday also, dozens of Santiaguinos joined the lay people of Osorno in the demonstrations against Barros, Karadima and Ricardo Ezzati.

Ciudadanos realizan velatón en las afueras de Catedral de Santiago exigiendo salida de obispo Barros

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
24 Horas

>>Citizens perform a velatón outside Santiago Cathedral demanding the departure of Bishop Barros

January 14, 2018

La manifestación se produjo a menos de 48 horas de la llegada del Papa Francisco a nuestro país.

Un grupo de ciudadanos realizó una velatón en las afueras de la Catedral de Santiago la tarde y noche de este sábado, exigiendo la salida del obispo Juan Barros de su cargo.

Los manifestantes -entre los que se incluían Juan Carlos Cruz y José Andrés Murillo- argumentan que el sacerdote habría encubierto al ex párroco de El Bosque, Fernando Karadima, y a los abusos sexuales que cometía.

[Google Translation: The demonstration took place less than 48 hours before Pope Francis arrived in our country.

A group of citizens held a vigil outside the Cathedral of Santiago on Saturday afternoon and evening, demanding the departure of Bishop Juan Barros from his post.

The protesters - among which included Juan Carlos Cruz and José Andrés Murillo - argue that the priest had covered up the former pastor of El Bosque, Fernando Karadima, and the sexual abuse he committed.

This velatón is not the only activity of citizens questioning the role of Juan Barros. The Lay and Lay Organization of Osorno announced that it will be in the activities of Pope Francis in Santiago and that it will be manifested so that the Supreme Pontiff can make a determination about the problem.

Other citizens who circulated in the sector spontaneously joined the initial group of about twenty people, reports Radio ADN. This Sunday there was a new meeting in the vicinity of the cathedral.]

Laicos de Osorno pidieron la salida del obispo Barros con una velatón en Santiago

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Nacion

>>Group of Lay People from Osorno Announce Protests during the Pope's Visit

January 12, 2018

Una veintena de personas del grupo de laicos de Osorno realizaron una velatón en el frontis de la Catedral de Santiago para exigir la salida del obispo de la ciudad Juan Barros, a quien se le sindica como encubridor de los abusos sexuales cometidos por Fernando Karadima.

La protesta se da dos días antes del arribo del papa Francisco a Chile, quien ha sido criticado por el nombramiento de Barros.

[Google Translation: The grouping of Osorninos accused the apostolic nuncio Ivo Scapolo of being "subservient to the interests of the people close to Fernando Karadima".

Juan Carlos Claret, spokesman for the Laity and Lay organization of Osorno, summoned the Pope and the episcopate of Santiago to meet with victims of sexual abuse by priests , as well as punishments against those who abetted these abuses. This at a press conference held in the vicinity of the Apostolic Nunciature of Santiago.

Following the letter of Pope Francisco of 2015 released on Thursday by Associated Press (AP), in which the Supreme Pontiff explains the background of the designation of Barros as bishop of Osorno, the group of Osorninos announced new manifestations.

For the Laity of Osorno " the nuncio (Ivo) Scapolo is subservient to the interests of the people close to Fernando Karadima and against that power Cardinal Ezzati and the Pope himself succumb. That letter shows the background of how bishops are chosen in Chile. "

Claret said that "if you read the letter you will notice that Jesus is not spoken, the highest good is not spoken, the welfare of the diocese is not spoken, but there is talk of a game of thrones of those who want to hold a power, which it is the episcopate, and they do everything possible to keep the cassock. "

Two days ago Claret said "where the Pope is in Santiago, we will be there". This is because in his words, and according to the organization he represents, " without a doubt, a piece is missing here and it is the opportunity that, having it on Chilean soil, the Pope has to respond".

While the Supreme Pontiff arrived, they announced a velatón in the cathedral of Osorno for this Friday at 8:00 pm , which will be a manifestation to demand answers to the episcopate for cases of abuse and possible cover-ups.

Likewise, a delegation from Osorno will arrive in Santiago to be part of the demonstrations that will accompany the papal activities.]

Pontífice visitará tumba del “obispo de los pobres”

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

>>Pontiff will visit tomb of the "bishop of the poor"

January 14, 2018

By Rivera and Y. Moya

[Note: This article details various changes made in the Pope's itinerary.]

El Papa Francisco orará donde descansan los restos de monseñor Enrique Alvear, obispo auxiliar de Santiago. Desde la organización anunciaron cambios en el recorrido que realizará la máxima autoridad de la Iglesia Católica por las calles de Santiago.

“Ojalá cuando llegue pudiese entrar a nuestra comunidad y visitar la tumba de don Enrique Alvear, que es el ‘obispo de los pobres’”. Ese era el anhelo de Julio Larrondo, párroco de la Iglesia San Luis Beltrán, de Pudahuel, cuando supo que el templo sería escenario de la primera parada del Papa en Chile. Y ayer, esta pretensión dejó de ser un deseo.

La comisión que organiza la vista del Papa confirmó ayer que tras la revisión de los últimos detalles por parte de la avanzada del Vaticano se sumará un momento de oración ante la tumba de monseñor Enrique Alvear, ex obispo de Santiago, fallecido en 1982 y conocido como el “obispo de los pobres”.

Cambio de ruta

Los cambios en el itinerario del Papa Francisco, dados a conocer ayer, contemplan que el lunes 15 arribe a las 19.55 al aeropuerto Arturo Merino Benítez, y desde allí se desplazará en un auto cerrado hasta la Parroquia San Luis Beltrán, en Pudahuel. Terminada esta actividad se trasladará hasta calle Brasil con Alameda.

He claimed sexual abuse by Catholic leaders, but a judge wasn't convinced

FORT WORTH (TX)
Star-Telegram

January 11, 2018

By Mitch Mitchell

A judge Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth filed by a man who said he was sexually abused while a student at a Wichita Falls Catholic school from 1990 to 1992.

Jason Montgomery filed the lawsuit in 2015, saying he was sexually abused by the late Rev. John Sutton while he was a student at Notre Dame Middle High School. Montgomery later amended his lawsuit to say that then-Principal Ron Staley also sexually abused him during that time. Montgomery's memory of the abuse returned in 2013, according to his lawyer.

Fort Worth Bishop Michael F. Olson investigated the allegations and found no evidence to support his claims, the diocese said. No other allegations of sexual misconduct have ever been made against Sutton, who died in 2004, or Staley, the diocese said.

Shamed priest will be quizzed at child abuse inquiry

DUNDEE (SCOTLAND)
The Sunday Post

January 14, 2018

By Gordon Blackstock

A former priest who sexually abused young boys in care is to give evidence at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Sex offender Bernard Traynor, 64, has been called to give his testimony after allegations about him were made to the inquiry by former residents at Smyllum Park in Lanark last month.

Two former residents told Lady Smith, who leads the inquiry, they were sexually abused by Traynor after they were moved to another orphanage run by the same Catholic order in Newcastle.

One witness said he was sexually abused by Traynor at a caravan park in Scarborough in the 1970s.

Another former Smyllum resident said Traynor had sexually abused him at the Wallis’s Holiday Camp in Cayton Bay, Scarborough.

He also said the abuse continued at the St Vincent’s children’s home in Newcastle, run by the Daughters of Charity of Vincent de Paul, for “two or three years” afterwards.

As Pope Francis Heads to Chile and Peru, Argentina Feels Snubbed, Again

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

January 14, 2018

Leer en español: Mientras el papa visita Chile y Perú, los argentinos se preguntan: ¿y nosotros?

By Daniel Politijan

Buenos Aires - It was a sweltering afternoon at the rundown central bus station in Argentina’s capital, but Amelia Cartes Novoa was beaming despite the intolerable heat.

“I’m so excited,” Ms. Cartes said as she waited on a platform for the bus that would take her on a 21-hour ride across the Andes. She was on her way to attend a Mass that Pope Francis will celebrate in Santiago, Chile’s capital, on Tuesday.

“I’ve done this trip many times before but this one is particularly special,” she said.

Ms. Cartes is among the tens of thousands of Argentines planning to make a pilgrimage to Chile during the peak of the summertime holiday to catch a glimpse of the pope, who was born here in Buenos Aires. Much to the chagrin of many of his countrymen, Francis has not set foot in his homeland since his election in March 2013.

* * *

In Santiago, Francis is expected to face demonstrations for keeping Bishop Juan Barros as head of the Diocese of Osorno, 570 miles south of the capital, despite allegations he helped cover up a notorious case of clerical sexual abuse. Francis appointed him in January 2015 even though he was part of the inner circle of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, whom the Vatican found guilty of sexual abuse in 2011.

Francis called “dumb” the lay and religious organizations protesting in Osorno at the time.

“We are not convinced that the pope has really assumed this zero tolerance policy on sexual abuses,” said Juan Carlos Claret, 24, one of the organizers of the demonstrations. “He has showed infinite tolerance. Having all the power to do something, he prefers to remain ambiguous.”

Agonizing Question for Irish: What to Do With Children’s Remains?

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

January 13, 2018

By Dan Barry

[Note: See also Barry's The Lost Children of Tuam, October 28, 2017; the brief (11-minute) NY Times documentary 796 Irish Children Vanished. Why? by Kassie Bracken et al., October 28, 2017; a list of the 796 children; Catherine Corless, The Home, her original investigation, published in the Journal of the Old Tuam Society, Vol. 9, 2012; the Expert Technical Group Report on the Tuam Site with updates; and the website of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.]

A few years ago, an amateur historian shook Ireland to its core with a ghastly allegation: Hundreds of bodies of young children appeared to have been buried in an abandoned septic system by Catholic nuns who for decades had managed a home for unwed mothers and their offspring in the County Galway town of Tuam.

Then, early last year, investigators confirmed that many commingled human remains have been found in just a single corner of the seven-acre site, where a subsidized housing project had long since replaced the old mother-and-baby home.

Amid the many emotional reactions that followed was one particularly painful question: What should be done with the juvenile remains in the ground?

Last month, a team of forensic experts assembled by Katherine Zappone, Ireland’s minister for children, issued a report that presented several possible answers, but not before noting the “unprecedented” challenges.

“The group has not identified any directly comparable cases, either nationally or internationally, that involved the complexities of commingled juvenile human remains, in significant quantities and in such a restricted physical location,” the report said.

* * *

The report’s suggestions have offended the likes of Peter Mulryan, who spent the first few years of his life in the Tuam home and was eventually handed over to a foster father who beat and exploited him. He learned, only recently, that he had a half sister who died at the home in 1950s and that her remains, presumably, are commingled in the site’s unconsecrated ground.

January 13, 2018

Anne Barrett-Doyle sobre obispo Barros: “Debería salir, pero no tenemos esperanza de que eso ocurra”

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Radio Universidad de Chile

>>Anne Barrett-Doyle on Bishop Barros: "He should be removed, but we have no hope of that happening"

January 10, 2018

By Maximiliano Alarcón

La representante de Bishop Accountability, organización estadounidense que recopila información en todo el mundo respecto de miembros de la Iglesia Católica acusados de abuso sexual o violación de menores, presentó un listado con 79 nombres del credo en nuestro país vinculados a estos casos. Todo en medio de la visita del Papa Francisco, de quien esperan alguna acción concreta más que palabras.

Durante este miércoles, en medio de la inminente visita del Papa Francisco a nuestro país, la sede de la Fundación para la Confianza sirvió de espacio para que Anne Barrett-Doyle entregara de manera pública los antecedentes que recopilaron con la organización Bishop Accountability respecto de los sacerdotes o miembros de la Iglesia Católica chilena que han sido acusados alguna vez por abusos sexuales o violaciones en contra de menores de edad.

La lista que se encuentra publicada en el sitio www.bishop-accountability.org consigna a 79 casos nacionales, pero según Barret-Doyle, representante de la organización, es posible que aún existan muchos casos ocultos.

[Partial Google Translation:

Q. Concealment is another of the most serious problems along with cases of abuse or rape. In your experience in other countries, what steps can civil society, journalism or other institutions take to face the cover-up?

A. There must be a law within the church for any bishop or anyone who knows about these abuses to report them. But the real answer comes from outside the church, from lay organizations, from prosecutors who can get involved in this issue and solve it. When a Chilean bishop spends a day in jail you will see changes in the Chilean church.

Q. It is difficult to expect such changes in Chile, which despite being a secular country, invests a large amount of resources in the visit of the pope, in addition to being the church a major player in politics.

A. agree. Investing so much time and resources and not taking concrete actions for the good of the church seems a waste of time.

Q. Do you hope that Pope Francis will make a gesture towards the victims in Chile?

A. In meetings with the victims, which may or may not occur, the really important thing is that after this a change really happens, in the past it has not happened.]

Laicos de Osorno: No nos prestaremos para un lavado de imagen durante la visita del papa

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Cooperativa

>>Lay of Osorno: We will not lend ourselves to a washing of image during the visit of the Pope

January 13, 2018

A dos días del arribo del papa Francisco a Chile, y en medio de la incertidumbre sobre la postura que adoptará respecto al obispo Juan Barros -sindicado como uno de los encubridores de los abusos del cura Karadima- los laicos de Osorno advirtieron en Cooperativa que, luego de las "humillaciones" que han sufrido, durante la visita "no se prestarán para un lavado de imagen".

Cabe recordar que el pontífice, en el año 2015, trató de "tontos y zurdos" a quienes, en la ciudad de la Región de Los Lagos, se oponen a la figura de Barros, y los integrantes del movimiento de laicos ya anunciaron manifestaciones durante la visita papal.

Además, en las últimas horas una carta del papa Francisco -dirigida al Comité Permanente de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile, con fecha del 31 de enero de 2015- reveló un plan del Vaticano para pedir la renuncia y otorgar un año sabático a tres obispos -entre ellos Barros- acusados de encubrir los abusos del ex párroco de El Bosque Fernando Karadima.

[Partial Google Translation: The spokesman of the lay community of Osorno, Juan Carlos Claret , said that "if the Pope wants to speak with us, by virtue of the filtering of this letter, we will be available, but we will not be available to be a conversation where we have to enter through the backyard of the Nunciature (Apostolic) , in which we have to walk saying that we are going to have to keep confidentiality for centuries of the centuries, as Rome does after having private meetings ".

"At this moment we are demanding that we be recognized as equals within the Church, and we will not lend ourselves to games of image washing ," the activist warned.

"For three years we have been forced to beg inside the Church." We have repeatedly addressed the Pope, the Apostolic Nuncio (Ivo Scapolo , the Holy See's principal representative to the Government) has been extremely violent with us " and, after this letter, "you should leave Chile," Claret continued.

" The Pope even, on August 16, 2016, was going to receive me in the Vatican , I traveled there, but when I arrived in Rome, the Pope sent me to say through the Embassy of Chile in the Holy Headquarters, through Italo Capurro (second secretary of the permanent diplomatic mission), who was not going to receive me because the issue of Osorno irritates him , "said the spokesman for the city's laity.]

3 Chile churches firebombed, president calls for ‘respect’

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via Washington Post

January 12, 2018

By Eva Vergara and Peter Prengaman

President Michelle Bachelet asked Chileans on Friday to receive Pope Francis in a “climate of respect,” hours after three Roman Catholic churches were firebombed and a note left at the scene threatening the pontiff.

In the overnight attacks in Santiago, the capital and largest city where the pope will arrive Monday, the churches were hit with firebombs and then sprayed with accelerant. At one, the doors were burned before firefighters extinguished the blaze.

“The next bombs will be in your cassock,” read pamphlets found outside one of the churches.

* * *

It was unclear who might have been behind Friday’s attacks. A small minority of Mapuches have used violence to further their cause, and in recent years churches have been targeted.

Chile also has a handful of anarchist groups that periodically attack property and clash with police during protests.

The pamphlet that threatened the pope mentioned the Mapuche cause and called for the liberation of “all political prisoners in the world.”

Sex abuse, political turmoil overshadow pope in Chile, Peru

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press via Washington Post

January 12, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis’ trip to Chile and Peru, originally aimed at highlighting the plight of indigenous peoples and the delicate Amazon ecosystem, is being overshadowed by the Catholic Church’s dismal record confronting priestly sex abuse in Chile and political turmoil in Peru.

On the eve of the trip, vandals attacked five churches with firebombs in the Chilean capital of Santiago and warned in a leaflet that “the next bombs will be in your cassock.” That was an unprecedented threat against the pope and a violent start to what were already expected to be the first-ever protests against Francis on a foreign trip.

The Vatican agreed to the Chile visit knowing that the local church had lost much of the moral authority it earned during the Pinochet dictatorship, when bishops spoke out against human rights abuses when other institutions were silenced. But now, the Catholic Church in Chile has been largely marginalized, criticized as out-of-touch with today’s secular youth and discredited by its botched handling of a notorious pedophile priest.

St. Louis area priest charged with 16 counts of child porn and possession of meth

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Kansas City Star

By Kaley Johnson

January 10, 2018

A Catholic priest who was arrested Monday by Belleville police was charged with 16 counts of child pornography Tuesday.

The Rev. Gerald R. Hechenberger, associate pastor of Holy Childhood Church and school in Mascoutah, Ill., was charged with the following:

- Eight counts of dissemination of child pornography

- Seven counts of possession of child pornography (photos)

- One count of possession of child pornography (video)

Hechenberger, 54, also was charged with possession of methamphetamine.

Abingdon vicar Timothy Davis 'spiritually abused' teenage boy, tribunal finds

OXFORD (ENGLAND)
Oxford Mail

January 9, 2018

By Sophie Grubb

A vicar has been found guilty of 'spiritually abusing' a teenage boy.

Reverend Timothy Davis was found guilty of misconduct whilst leading Christ Church in Abingdon, relating to behaviour with a boy aged between 15 and 16 years old.

The Bishop's Disciplinary Tribunal has released its judgement against Mr Davis, who is aged in his 50s.

It is understood to be the first time a tribunal has convicted a priest of spiritual abuse.

The Diocese of Oxford has condemned his actions, saying he 'betrayed the trust of everyone involved'.

3 men sue Archdiocese of Portland alleging sex abuse in North Bend

COOS BAY (OR)
The World

January 11, 2018

By Tim Epperson

North Bend - Three men filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Archdiocese of Portland alleging they were sexually abused as children by a priest in North Bend during the early 1980s.

The lawsuit, filed today in United States District Court for the District of Oregon, alleges that the three victims, who were not identified in the complaint, were each abused by the Rev. Pius Brazauskas who worked at the Holy Redeemer Church in North Bend from the late 1970s until as late as 1990.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that they were sexually abused on multiple occasions between 1978 and 1982, when they were each between five and 12 years old. They allege that the abuse included the priest French kissing the boys, pressing his erect penis against them and groping their genitals.

The plaintiffs are the first known victims to speak publicly about abuse by Brazauskas.

3 men allege Oregon coast priest abused them as children, sue for $29M

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

January 10, 2018

By Aimee Green

[Note: See also the legal complaint.]

Three men who say they were sexually abused when they were boys in the 1970s and 1980s by a Catholic priest on the Oregon coast filed a $29 million lawsuit Wednesday against the Archdiocese of Portland.

The men say a now deceased priest, Pius Brazauskas, abused them when they were between ages 5 and 12 by French kissing them, groping their genitals and pressing himself against them.

Brazauskas was assigned to Holy Redeemer Church in North Bend at the time, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.

Peter Janci, one of the lawyers representing the men, said he believes this is the first time anyone has publicly named Brazauskas as an alleged child abuser.

Man told to 'shut up' after alleging sexual abuse by priest at group home: lawsuit

WINNIPEG (MANITOBA, CANADA)
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

January 12, 2018

By Cameron MacLean

A Manitoba man alleges a now deceased priest sexually abused him at a Winnipeg group home — and that a supervisor at the home ignored the abuse when he tried to report it.

The allegations are part of a lawsuit filed last month by the man, who was a ward of Credo Home. That's the same Winnipeg group home where Catholic priest and convicted pedophile Omer Desjardins worked.

Desjardins died of a heart attack at the age of 85 on Dec. 4, 2017 just as he was about to go to trial on new charges for alleged offences dating back to the late 1980s.

At that time, Desjardins worked as a caretaker at Credo Home, which was run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a Roman Catholic religious community to which Desjardins belonged.

Priest Added to Clergy List

ST. CLOUD (MN)
KNSI

January 12, 2018

By Matt Demczyk

[Note: See also the St. Cloud diocese's updated list.]

Another name has been added to the list of clergy who served in parishes within the Diocese of Saint Cloud and have been identified as likely to have abused minors.

Father Antonio Marfori becomes the 40th person on the list.

In October of 2015, a lawsuit was filed accusing Marfori of sexually abusing a St. Cloud Cathedral High School student in the 1970s while Marfori was teaching at the school.

Bishop Donald Kettler ordered an investigation and told Marfori that he couldn't function or present himself as a priest during the investigation.

A second complaint was filed in March of 2016, alleging Marfori sexually abused a minor in the late 1970s while he was an instructor at Cathedral High School.

New London Man Alleging Priest Abuse Receives $900K Settlement

HARTFORD (CT)
Connecticut Law Tribune

January 12, 2018

By Andrew Denney

[See also the complaint regarding abuse by Fr Charles Many.]

Father Charles Many molested Andrew Aspinwall when he was an altar boy in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The Diocese of Norwich, a Catholic church in Groton and a Vermont-based order of priests have agreed to pay a $900,000 settlement to a New London man who says a priest molested him when he was an altar boy at the church in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Plaintiff Andrew Aspinwall says he was molested by Father Charles Many, who was assigned to the Sacred Heart Church in Groton by the Society of St. Edmund. The church is within the Diocese of Norwich.

Many was removed from parish service in 1986, according to a news release from Kelly Reardon of the Reardon Law Firm, which represented Aspinwall.

Reardon was able to obtain documents from the Society of St. Edmund’s archives showing that church officials knew as early as 1976—two years before he was assigned to Sacred Heart—that Many was “receiving boys in his room.”

In an interview, Reardon said Aspinwall’s decision to make his name public in the case was both “brave” and unusual for an abuse victim, but that he did so after much thought to encourage other potential victims to come forward.

“He thought it was important for people not to hide after something horrible like this has happened to them,” Reardon said.

Aspinwall filed suit in 2015 alleging nine counts against the defendants, which also included Bishop Daniel Reilly, accusing them of negligence, reckless and wanton conduct, conspiracy to commit fraud and other claims.

Reardon said her firm has handled at least 20 cases involving victims of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy members.

Bradford Babbitt of Robinson & Cole appeared for the diocese and Philip Newbury Jr. of Howd & Ludorf appeared for the Society of St. Edmund. They could not be reached for comment.

Carta revela que Papa Francisco recomendó dar año sabático a obispo Barros para bajar la tensión sobre casos de abusos sexuales

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
El Mostrador

>>Letter reveals that Pope Francis recommended giving sabbatical to Bishop Barros to lower the tension on cases of sexual abuse

January 12, 2018

En el escrito dirigido al Comité Permanente de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile, el máximo jerarca de la Iglesia católica confesó que sabía de la polémica generada por las denuncias entorno al obispo de Osorno por su encubrimiento a Karadima.

A cuatro días de que el Papa Francisco llegue a Chile, The Associated Press, dio a conocer una reveladora carta escrita por el máximo jerarca de la Iglesia católica en donde reconoce que el Vaticano estaba preocupado por los daños que provocaría el caso de Karadima en Chile y que por eso intentó poner en marcha un plan para lidiar con los abusos sexuales.

En la misiva dirigida al Comité Permanente de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile, Francisco intenta justificar el nombramiento del 10 de enero de 2015, cuando designó a Barros obispo de la ciudad de Osorno.

[Partial Google Translation: This Friday, the Episcopal Conference of Chile referred to the letter written by its Supreme Pontiff, and confirmed its authenticity through its spokesman Jaime Coiro. "Our spokesperson @ JaimeCoiro confirms the authenticity of the Pope's letter to the Standing Committee of the CECh disclosed by @ APNews, " they said through their Twitter account.

Our spokesperson @JaimeCoiro confirms the authenticity of the Pope's letter to the Standing Committee of the CECh disclosed by @APNews .

- Conf.Episcopal Chile (@episcopado_cl) January 12, 2018

It should be remembered that the revelation of this letter is opposed to the statements that the Pope delivered in 2015, where he publicly defended Barros and even went so far as to say that the inhabitants of Osorno suffered from "fools" and that they allowed themselves to be manipulated by "left-handers".

On the occasion, Bergoglio claimed to be "the first to judge and punish someone who has accusations of that kind, but in this case there is no proof, I tell you from my heart."]

Ezzati por acusaciones de encubrimiento y carta del Papa: “He actuado con mucha verdad, a pesar de lo que digan algunas mentes desquiciadas en EE.UU.”

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
El Mostrador

>>Ezzati on accusations of cover-up and letter from the Pope: "I have acted with great truth, despite what some deranged minds in the US say"

January 12, 2018

Este viernes el arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, se refirió a la carta escrita por el Papa Francisco en 2015 que revela que tenía conocimiento sobre las denuncias en contra del obispo de Osorno, Juan Barros, por encubrimiento de los abusos cometidos por Fernando Karadima.

"Los abusos son siempre muy graves. Yo siempre he dicho que aunque hubiera solamente un caso, ese caso sería sumamente grave. Frente a todos los abusos yo puedo decir, personalmente, que he tenido siempre una claridad muy grande", afirmó Ezzati.

Asimismo recalcó que dicha carta no es de su competencia porque la recibió la Conferencia Episcopal y no él.

Sin embargo, aclaró que "he actuado siempre con mucha verdad y con mucha conciencia, a pesar de lo que digan algunas mentes desquiciadas en EE.UU.", haciendo referencia también a la publicación de la organización internacional Bishop Accountability que durante esta semana dio a conocer datos sobre las denuncias de abusos sexuales en contra de la Iglesia Católica en Chile y que acumula 78 casos.

[Partial Google Translation: However, he clarified that "I have always acted with much truth and with a lot of conscience, in spite of what some deranged minds say in the USA", also referring to the publication of the international organization Bishop Accountability that during this week gave to know facts about the denunciations of sexual abuses against the Catholic Church in Chile and that it accumulates 78 cases.]

El Nuncio en Chile "complicó y bloqueó" la renuncia de Juan Barros

MADRID (SPAIN)
Religión Digital

>>The Nuncio in Chile "complicated and blocked" the resignation of Juan Barros

January 12, 2018

By Jesus Pretty

El Papa Francisco quiso frenar el 'caso Barros'... y no pudo. Esta es una de las conclusiones que pueden sacarse de una carta que Bergolio envió a la Conferencia Episcopal chilena el 31 de enero de 2015, y que acaba de desvelar la Associated Press.

En la misma, el Papa revela que intentó pedir la renuncia al actual obispo de Osorno, y a otros dos prelados vinculados al pederasta Fernando Karadima, y que habían sido acusados de encubrimiento. Sin embargo, algo falló. ¿Qué pasó realmente?

El Papa intenta explicarlo en la misiva: "Surgió luego, hacia fin de año (últimos días de diciembre de 2014), un problema serio. El Sr. Nuncio (Ivo Scapolo) le pide a Mons. Barros la renuncia y lo exhorta a tomar un período sabático (un año, por ejemplo) antes de asumir otra responsabilidad pastoral como Obispo diocesano. Y le comentó que el mismo proceder se tomará con los obispos de Talca y de Linares (también implicados en el caso Karadima), pero que no se los dijera a ellos".

[Partial Google Translation: Everything seems to indicate that the Nuncio was ahead of the wishes of the Pope and that, by 'exhorting' Barros to resign, he prevented a dialogue between the controversial bishop and Francisco. Then, Barros would not submit his resignation voluntarily, but obliged by the papal representative, who should have been admonished by Cardinal Ouellet. However, the performance of the Nuncio "complicated and blocked" any solution to the Osorno theme.

According to Ap, the Vatican was concerned "about the collateral damage that would be caused by the worst pedophile cure in Chile and tried to implement a plan: request the resignation and give a sabbatical to three Chilean bishops accused of having covered up the abuses of that priest. "

In the end, on January 10, 2015, Francisco named Barros bishop of the city of Osorno , about 930 kilometers south of the Chilean capital, provoking a cataract of protests that became visible on the day of his episcopal ordination, and that, three years later, they still continue. It is expected that during the imminent visit of the Pope to Chile, the "Osorno case" will return to the fore. In fact, some of Karadima's victims have asked to meet with the Pope, without any meeting so far.]

Revelan una carta del papa Francisco en la que expone el plan del Vaticano para lidiar con los abusos sexuales de un cura en Chile

BUENOS AIRES (ARGENTINA)
Infobae

January 12, 2018

>>Letter from Pope Francis revealed in which he exposes the Vatican plan to deal with the sexual abuse of a priest in Chile

[Note: See the AP report and the letter.]

La agencia de noticias Associated Press publicó una misiva confidencial del Sumo Pontífice, fechada el 31 de enero de 2015. Allí señala la intención de darle "un año sabático" a tres obispos acusados de encubrir los crímenes del cura Fernando Karadima y por qué se frustró la estrategia

El Vaticano estaba preocupado por los daños colaterales que provocaría el caso del mayor cura pederasta de Chile e intentó poner en marcha un plan: pedir la renuncia de Fernando Karadima y darles un año sabático a tres obispos chilenos acusados de haber encubierto los abusos de ese sacerdote.

The Associated Press obtuvo una carta confidencial del papa Francisco, fechada el 31 de enero de 2015, la cual revela parte de un plan del Vaticano sobre cómo lidiar con los obispos chilenos señalados de proteger los crímenes del cura.

[Partial Google Translation: This priest was for decades at the head of El Bosque church, in the elegant Providencia neighborhood of Santiago, Chile, and turned it into a hotbed of more than 50 priests, as well as training five bishops: Andrés Arteaga, Felipe Bacarezza, Horacio Valenzuela, Tomislav Koljatic and Juan Barros.

The Chilean Catholic Church ignored for years the complaints of acolytes that Karadima had sexually abused them, and only initiated some actions after the victims made their cases public in 2010.]

Según Estudio, Chile es el país de América Latina que peor evalúa al Papa

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

>>According to study, Chile is the country in Latin America that rates the Pope lowest

[See the report El Papa Francisco y La Religión en Chile y América Latina.]

January 12, 2018

By Rodrigo Retamal

Un informe de Latinobarómetro señala, además, que nuestro país es el que cuenta con menos católicos y el que confía menos en la iglesia dentro de la zona geográfica analizada. Revisa el documento.

A tres días de la primera visita que el Papa Francisco realizará a Chile, Latinobarómetro -encuesta de opinión pública que representa la percepción de los mayores de edad en 18 países de América Latina- dio a conocer los resultados del estudio “El Papa Francisco y la Religión en Chile y América Latina Latinobarómetro 1995-2017”, los que evidencian cómo ha evolucionado la opinión que tienen los latinoamericanos respecto de la religión y de la figura del Pontífice en los últimos 22 años.

De los 18 países encuestados, Chile presenta una serie de particularidades que se han ido acentuando a través del tiempo: Si el promedio de los latinoamericanos evaluó en 2017 al Papa Mario Bergolio con nota 6,8 en un rango que va de 0 a 10, Chile le entregó la peor nota de la región con un 5,3. Perú, país al que asistirá el Papa una vez que finalice su visita por nuestro país, lo evalúa con un 6,8, mientras que su país de origen, Argentina, le otorga un 6,6.

[Partial Google Translation: In the particular case of Chile, the percentage of Catholics fell from 74% in 1995 to 45% in 2017. According to the study, this decrease was sustained since 2010, when it fell from 65 to 60% in one year, which coincides with the uncovering of the "Karadima Case". "Only the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Uruguay, Chile and Honduras have less than 50% of Catholic inhabitants according to the survey." says Lagos.

Along with diminishing the practice of Catholicism, Latinobarómetro also showed a surprising drop in confidence toward the church, especially in Chil e. If in 22 years confidence in this institution dropped from 76% to 65%, in Chile it experienced a sharp drop, going from 80% in 1995 to 36% in 2017.]

Ezzati descarta participación en carta enviada por Papa a Conferencia Episcopal por obispo Barros

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

>>Ezzati rules out participation in letter sent by Pope to Episcopal Conference by Bishop Barros

January 12, 2018

[Note: Cardinal Ezzati was the president of the bishops conference and its permanent (standing) committee at the time that Pope Francis sent the letter to the committee. The announcement of his reelection to a three-year term was made on November 7, 2013.]

El Arzobispo de Santiago también se refirió a los templos incendiados durante las últimas horas.

Este viernes el Arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, recorrió las iglesias afectadas por los ataques incendiarios durante las últimas horas en Peñalolén, Estación Central, Quinta Normal y Recoleta. Además se refirió a la carta enviada por el Papa a la Conferencia Episcopal en 2015 donde abordaba la situación de Barros.

“Nos duelen profundamente estos hechos contradicen el espíritu de paz que anima la visita del Papa al país”, sostuvo Ezatti.

Y llamó a “reflexionar sobre la necesidad de que exista respeto y tolerancia entre todos, para construir una patria de hermanos”.

[Partial Google Translation: "The letter is authentic, what it says there is what the Holy Father says. The content of what the letter says is not my competence, I do not know what may have been behind. The letter was received by the Episcopal Conference, it was not sent to me personally, it was addressed to the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Conference "said Ezzati when asked about this issue.

Consulted by the possibility that the Pope would have contemplated asking Barros to take a sabbatical year, the Archbishop said: "Abuses are always very serious. I have always said that even if there were only one case, that case would be serious. And in front of all the abuses I say that I have a very great clarity and I have acted with a lot of truth and a lot of conscience, in spite of what some deranged minds in the United States say ".

However, he insisted that he can not interpret the intentions of the letter. "Regarding the intentions I had, if it was Monsignor Barros in his dialogue with the nuncio or in his dialogue with the Pope, do not ask me because that is not my competence.]

Carta del Papa de 2015 reabre polémica por obispo Barros

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

>>Pope's letter of 2015 reopens controversy by Bishop Barros

January 12, 2018

By C. Reyes and P. Castillo

“La carta es auténtica, lo que dice allí es lo que dice el Santo Padre. El contenido no es de competencia mía, no sé lo que puede haber habido detrás. Fue recibida por la Conferencia Episcopal, no fue enviada a mí personalmente, fue dirigida al Comité Permanente de la Conferencia Episcopal”.

De esta forma, el arzobispo de Santiago, cardenal Ricardo Ezzati, se refirió y validó la misiva que data de 2015 y que la Agencia AP publicó hoy, en la cual el Papa Francisco se refería al nombramiento de Juan Barros como obispo de Osorno, a la aparente preocupación de los obispos chilenos y a la solicitud del nuncio apostólico, Ivo Scapolo, de pedirle un año sabático al prelado del sur.

“Muchas gracias por manifestar abiertamente la inquietud que en estos momentos tienen respecto del nombramiento de Mons. Juan Barros Madrid. Comprendo lo que me dicen y soy consciente de que la situación de la Iglesia de Chile es difícil debido a todas las pruebas que han tenido que soportar”, se lee en el documento, fechado el 31 de enero de 2015 y firmado por el Pontífice.

[Partial Google Translation: In addition, the document was known in a complex day for the Apostolic Nunciature, following two manifestations that took place in front of its offices in Providencia. The most relevant was carried out by a group of lay people from Osorno who opposed Barros. His spokesman, Juan Carlos Claret, said that "this letter comes to reaffirm suspicions that we have been enunciating for three years regarding the procedure of the nuncio Ivo Scapolo".

In the Episcopal Conference it was also ratified that "the letter that the AP agency has made known is effective, it was received by the bishops of the Standing Committee (of the CECh) in February or March of the year 2015".]

Ezzati y ataques a iglesias: "Quiere decir que la visita del Papa es tan valiosa que a algunos no les gusta"

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
24 Horas

[Ezzati and attacks on churches: "It means that the Pope's visit is so valuable that some do not like it"]

January 12, 2018

[Note: Includes video of Cardinal Ezzati's entire interview.]

El cardenal Ricado Ezzati visitó la Iglesia Santa Isabel de Hungría, en Estación Central, la que fue atacada con elementos incendiarios y panfletos contra la visita del Papa Francisco.

El arzobispo metropolitano señaló tras visitar los templos afectados que "gracias a Dios los daños materiales no son de gravedad. La gravedad es la intolerancia de quienes teniendo el derecho de disentir, disienten con formas que no son adecuadas".

* * *

Respecto a la misiva revelada por AP en donde se exhibe la preocupación del Papa Francisco por la designación del obispo Juan Barros, el sacerdote manifestó que "la carta es auténtica, lo que dice ahí es lo que dice el Santo Padre, lo que dice no es de competencia mía, no sé qué habrá habido detrás, no la recibí personalmente", aseveró.

"Los abusos siempre son muy graves, frente a todos los abusos puedo decir que siempre he tenido una claridad muy grande y he actuado con mucha verdad y conciencia, a pesar de lo que digan algunas mentes desquiciadas de Estados Unidos", enfatizó.

[Partial Google Translation: Regarding the letter revealed by AP in which the concern of Pope Francis for the appointment of Bishop Juan Barros is exhibited, the priest said that "the letter is authentic, what it says there is what the Holy Father says, what it says It's my competence, I do not know what was behind it, I did not receive it personally, "he said.

[4:53] The abuses are always very serious, in the face of all the abuses I can say that I have always had a very great clarity and I have acted with a lot of truth and conscience, in spite of what some deranged minds of the United States say," he emphasized.]

Carta del Papa Francisco / Letter of Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY
Religión Digital

The full Spanish text of the Pope's letter regarding Bishop Barros with a Google translation.

Vatican, January 31, 2015

To the Bishops of the Permanent Committee of the Episcopal Conference of Chile

Dear brothers:

I received the email dated 23 of this month. Thank you very much for expressing openly the concern that you have at this moment regarding the appointment of Bishop Juan Barros Madrid. I understand what they tell me and I am aware that the situation of the Church of Chile is difficult due to all the tests that have had to endure.

I assure you, in addition to my fraternal understanding, my closeness as a brother and my prayer.

I remember well your visit in February of last year and also the various proposals, which I found prudent and constructive.

However, a serious problem arose later in the year. Señor Nuncio [Archbishop Ivo Scapolo ] asks Msgr. Barros to resign [from his position of Bishop of the Military Ordinariate of Chile] and urges him to take a sabbatical (one year, for example) before assuming another pastoral responsibility as a diocesan Bishop. And he says that the same procedure will be taken with the Bishops of Talca [Bishop Horacio del Carmen Valenzuela Abarca] and Linares [Bishop Tomislav Koljatic Maroevic], but not to tell them. Msgr. Barros sends the text of his resignation adding this comment from the Nuncio.

As you can understand, this comment by Señor Nuncio complicated and blocked any eventual further path in the sense of offering a sabbatical year. We discussed the matter with Cardinal Ouellet [President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops] and I know that he spoke with Señor Nuncio.

In these moments, by express indication of the Congregation for Bishops, Bishop Barros is doing the month of Spiritual Exercises in Spain. I do not know if it will pass through Rome at the end, but I will warn Cardinal Ouellet and the suggestion that you make.

I thank you once again for your openness and frankness in expressing your opinion and feeling: it is the only way to work for the Church, whose care the Lord has entrusted to the Bishops.

I ask you, please, to pray for me, because I need it.

May Jesus bless you and the Holy Virgin take care of you.

Fraternally,
Francisco

January 12, 2018

In Kansas City, Kansas priest trial, the child alleging abuse had these bikers on her side

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Kansas City Star

January 10, 2018

By Rick Montgomery

The girl stepped into the courtroom with her new biker friends.

They had provided a motorcade escort to her family — two motorcyclists ahead of a donated car (no identifying plates) and two behind. They cocooned the 13-year-old when she entered the Wyandotte County building.

The bikers, with prosecutors and counsel, surrounded her as she and her parents walked down the hallways and to their seats before a judge.

They stayed close to ensure the girl would have minimal eye contact with the priest she was accusing.

On one side of the courtroom during the December criminal hearing sat Catholic parishioners and clergy. They were shoulder to shoulder, many in formal black attire. Some prayed aloud with rosaries.

Carta abierta de James Hamilton a Francisco

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
The Clinic Online

[Open letter from James Hamilton to Pope Francis]

January 8, 2018

Aún no comprendo cómo nosotros, los miles de víctimas de abuso, no hayamos sido protegidos por nuestros pastores y sacerdotes, quienes eran testigos mudos de lo que nos pasaba.

Hace pocos días un respetado sacerdote “progre” comentaba que no se sentía en condiciones de denunciar, ni siquiera ante su obispo, a otro sacerdote abusador o perverso. El argumento que esgrimía era que en la justicia civil el testimonio de un cónyuge, hermano o familiar directo, no se consideraba válido, y dado que para él el involucrado era más que un hermano de sangre, no podría elevar testimonio en su contra.

Por breves momento tuve un flashback de cuando Fernando Karadima les hablaba a “sus” sacerdotes y obispos acerca de la dignidad sacerdotal, que pasaban a ser hermanos de Jesucristo y que eso los hacía entrar en la comunidad de los elegidos.

[Partial Google Translation: I still do not understand how we, the thousands of victims of abuse, have not been protected by our pastors and priests, who were silent witnesses of what was happening to us.

A few days ago a respected priest "progre" commented that he did not feel able to denounce, even before his bishop, another abuser or perverse priest. The argument that he wielded was that in civil justice the testimony of a spouse, brother or immediate family member was not considered valid, and since for him the person involved was more than a blood brother, he could not raise testimony against him.

For a brief moment I had a flashback of when Fernando Karadima spoke to "his" priests and bishops about priestly dignity, who became brothers of Jesus Christ and that made them enter the community of the elect.

In that moment, I never imagined that those words were so prophetic. With time before me, a solid, unshakeable ecclesial structure was unveiled, forged in the infinite pacts of silence that they have to protect themselves, while spilling thousand-year-old blood in the bodies of defenseless, curious and kind children who are left to their care.

* * *

Why, faced with the loyal and trusting denunciation of victims already weakened by suffering and age, through the channels established by yourselves, the response has almost invariably been the same: denial, indifference, silence and coldness?

Why is it allowed for the silent transfer of these clerics to other parishes and even other countries or continents, where thousands of children and adolescents continue to be exposed to these predators?

How was it left to numerous priests already identified as pedophiles and abusers in charge of homes for minors?

How was it never explained to us that we were the real victims when the priests gave us an ear to each confession, where we blamed ourselves for having committed a very serious sin that finally induced them to sin against them?]

Vocero de laicos de Osorno: "Donde el Papa esté en Santiago vamos a estar nosotros"

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
24 Horas

[Spokesman for lay people in Osorno: "Where the Pope is in Santiago, we will be there"]

January 9, 2018

By Francesca Cassinelli

Juan Carlos Claret anunció las protestas que planea la organización para manifestar el disgusto por el nombramiento del Obispo Juan Barros, cercano a Karadima.

El próximo lunes aterrizará en Chile el Papa Francisco y entre los temas que rodean su visita hay algunos tópicos que podrían desencadenar manifestaciones en los lugares que visitará.

Uno de los temas es el caso del nombramiento del obispo Juan Barros Madrid en Osorno, sacerdote que ha sido ligado a Fernando Karadima y que diversas organizaciones ciudadanas apuntan como encubridor del ex párroco condenado por abusos sexuales.

[Partial Google Translation: The spokesman of the organization of laity and secular of Osorno, Juan Carlos Claret , anticipates that some representatives of the group will travel to Santiago next Sunday to express their displeasure with the appointment and request measures in this regard.

"Where the Pope is in Santiago, we will be there." We discard the Araucanía because it has its own agenda, " Claret says to 24Horas.cl , stating that they will carry banners and shout.

"We demand that the authority be consistent because we are generally prevented from demonstrating with placards or shouting at religious activities," the spokesperson said, adding that if shouting and placards are allowed to the parishioners, the protesters should also be allowed.]

Felipe Berríos: No entiendo por qué el papa no se reúne con las víctimas de Karadima

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Cooperativa

[Felipe Berríos: I do not understand why the Pope does not meet with the victims of Karadima]

January 11, 2018

El sacerdote jesuita Felipe Berríos dijo a Cooperativa que, durante su visita a Chile, el papa Francisco debería hacer a lo menos un "gesto" a las víctimas de abusos sexuales de Fernando Karadima, y recibirlas para escuchar "lo que tienen que decir".

"Yo la verdad es que no entiendo por qué (no se hace). Se argumenta que el papa está solamente tres días, pero se podría haber hecho algún gesto pequeño, un encuentro del papa sobre todo con las víctimas del caso Karadima, que es tan emblemático, para que pueda oír lo que ellos tengan que decir", dijo Berríos a El Diario de Cooperativa.

[Partial Google Translation: The Jesuit priest Felipe Berríos told Cooperativa that, during his visit to Chile, Pope Francisco should make at least one "gesture" to the victims of sexual abuse of Fernando Karadima , and receive them to listen to "what they have to say".

"The truth is that I do not understand why (it is not done.) It is argued that the pope is only three days, but a small gesture could have been made, a meeting of the pope especially with the victims of the Karadima case, which is so emblematic , so that I can hear what they have to say.

* * *

Berríos stressed that the members of the Osorno lay movement " are Catholics, they are people who belong to the Catholic community and who, out of affection for the Church, pronounce themselves in this way," announcing demonstrations during the papal visit .

"They are not against the Church or against the Pope, they are against certain attitudes that the hierarchical church has had, that is what they are alleging and they have every reason to do it (...) I do not see as a bad thing all this is done with respect and without violence, "he said.]

Will the Pope Address Sexual Abuse in the Chilean Church?

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

January 12, 2018

By Ariel Dorfman

Santiago, Chile — On Monday, Pope Francis begins a four-day visit to Chile. For his trip to be successful, he must confront the scandalous sexual crimes of a vile Chilean priest, Fernando Karadima. Newspapers and television broadcasts in Santiago are filled with reports about Father Karadima’s abuse of minors and his impunity.

The allegations against Father Karadima were brought to the attention of the Chilean church in 2004. No inquiry was opened until the victims — after being pressured into silence for years — finally went public.

On Thursday morning, a poll on a Santiago radio station claimed that 90 percent of Chileans want the pope to meet the victims, ask for forgiveness and condemn Father Karadima. On Monday, victims abused by priests from several countries are meeting the Chilean victims to denounce the Vatican’s inadequate response to sexual abuse. And there is talk of protests during the papal visit.

I was 16 when I first encountered Father Karadima in 1958. He was a spiritual guide to fervently religious friends who attended the wealthy parish of El Bosque, over which he presided, a short bike ride away from my home in Santiago.

Though I was an atheist myself, of Jewish origin and left-wing ideas, I was intrigued by the awe in which my buddies held this 27-year-old priest they called saintly, the wisdom and solace they said he offered them, troubled as they were by the doubts and confusion of puberty. So when I received, to my surprise, an invitation to talk with the holy man, I did not hesitate to accept.

Former priest Peter Waters to stand trial on historic sex abuse charges

VICTORIA (BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA)
The Age

January 12, 2018

By Adam Cooper

A former Catholic priest will stand trial on charges he sexually assaulted six children across Victoria more than 30 years ago.

Peter Maurice Waters, 72, was this week committed to stand trial after a four-day hearing in Melbourne Magistrates Court that was closed to the public while the alleged victims gave evidence.

He has pleaded not guilty to 20 charges of sexual offending against children, including multiple counts of indecent assault, one of carnal knowledge of a girl aged between 10 and 16 and one of committing an act of gross indecency in the presence of a child.

Pope letter details concern over Chile bishop

SANTIAGO (CHILE) AND VATICAN CITY
Associated Press via Washington Post

January 11, 2018

By Eva Vergara and Nicole Winfield

The Vatican was so concerned about the fallout from Chile’s most notorious pedophile priest that it planned to ask three Chilean bishops accused of knowing about his decades-long crimes to resign and take a year’s sabbatical — a revelation that comes just days before Pope Francis makes his first visit to Chile as pope.

A confidential 2015 letter from Francis, obtained by The Associated Press, details the behind-the-scenes maneuvering by the Vatican and Chile’s bishops to deal with the prelates connected to the disgraced Rev. Fernando Karadima. And it reveals the bishops’ concern about Francis naming a Karadima protege, Bishop Juan Barros, to the helm of the diocese of Osorno — an appointment that roiled the diocese, with hundreds of priests and lay Catholics staging protests against him.

Those protests are expected to greet Francis during his visit to Chile, which begins Monday.

Chile’s Catholic Church was thrown into crisis in 2010 when former parishioners publicly accused Karadima of sexually abusing them when they were minors, starting in the 1980s — accusations they had made years earlier to Chilean church leaders but that were ignored. The scandal grew as Chilean prosecutors and Vatican investigators took testimony from the victims, who accused Barros and other Karadima proteges of having witnessed the abuse and doing nothing about it.

In his Jan. 31, 2015, letter, written in response to Chilean church leaders’ complaints about the Barros appointment, Francis revealed for the first time that he knew that the issue was controversial and that his ambassador in Chile had tried to find a way to contain the damage well before the case made headlines.

January 11, 2018

Apuron's nephew says he was raped by the archbishop as a teen

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

January 11, 2018

By Haidee V Eugenio

Archbishop Anthony Apuron's nephew, Mark M. Apuron, Wednesday filed a lawsuit in federal court, accusing the archbishop of raping him when he was a teen, in 1989 or 1990.

It's the fifth lawsuit accusing Archbishop Apuron of sexually abusing or raping boys, and the first to accuse him of doing so after he had been elevated to the position of archbishop. The other four lawsuits allege Apuron abused Agat altar boys in the late 1970s, when he was parish priest in that village.

Apuron became Guam's archbishop in 1986, and has been the subject of a Vatican canonical trial since 2016. The trial, which will determine whether Apuron remains a member of the clergy, started after the former Agat altar boys publicly accused him of assaulting them.

A decision in the canonical trial was reached in October 2017, according to new Archbishop Michael Byrnes, who this week said the Vatican has not yet stated the outcome. As coadjutor archbishop for Guam, Byrnes has the right to succeed Apuron.

Mark Apuron's lawsuit states he was raped in the archbishop's bathroom at the chancery during a religious event in 1989 or 1990, when he was around the age of 15 or 16.

Divulgan sitio web con religiosos abusadores chilenos

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via El Nuevo Herald in Miami

[They release web site on Chilean clerical abusers]

January 10, 2018

By Eva Vergara

Una organización estadounidense presentó el miércoles un sitio web que incluye un listado de 78 religiosos católicos de Chile que han sido acusados y/o condenados por abusar sexualmente de menores de edad.

Anne Barrett Doyle, codirectora de BishopAccountability.org, describió el sitio en rueda de prensa como “el mayor archivo público disponible, sólo comparable con los archivos privados de la Iglesia”. Barret explicó también que la divulgación de la lista se realiza a sólo cinco días de la visita del Papa Francisco a Chile con la esperanza de que algunos de sus asesores “le haga ver que no ha cumplido con su política de tolerancia cero en este tema”.

La lista incluye sacerdotes, monjas y hermanos y los datos fueron recabados a partir de denuncias, incidentes difundidos por medios de comunicación y antecedentes judiciales. El criterio para incorporar a los abusadores fue que según los documentos consultados, las supuestas víctimas hayan sido menores de edad y los presuntos responsables hayan sido clérigos. Los casos enlistados ocurrirían después del año 2000 para que no hayan prescrito ante la justicia civil. Sin embargo, según Barret, hay casos que aún no han sido reportados.

AP solicitó una reacción a la Conferencia Episcopal chilena, pero de momento no ha recibido respuesta.

[Partial Google Translation: A US organization presented a website on Wednesday that includes a list of 78 Catholic religious in Chile who have been accused and / or convicted of sexually abusing minors.

Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, described the site at a press conference as "the largest public archive available, only comparable to the private archives of the Church." Barrett Doyle also explained that the disclosure of the list is made only five days after the visit of Pope Francis to Chile with the hope that some of his advisers "make him see that he has not complied with his zero tolerance policy on this issue" .

The list includes priests, nuns and brothers and the data was collected from complaints, incidents disseminated by the media and judicial records. The criterion for incorporating the abusers was that according to the documents consulted, the alleged victims were minors and the alleged perpetrators were clerics. The cases listed would occur after the year 2000 so that they have not been prescribed before the civil courts. However, according to Barrett Doyle, there are cases that have not yet been reported.

AP requested a reaction to the Chilean Episcopal Conference, but for now has not received a response.]

Con crítica a Ezzati, ONG publicó lista de 80 religiosos acusados de abuso sexual en Chile

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Cooperativa

[With criticism of Ezzati, NGO published list of 80 religious accused of sexual abuse in Chile]

January 10, 2018

Destacando el rol del arzobispo Ricardo Ezzati en los casos de abuso sexual en la Iglesia Católica chilena, la organización internacional Bishop Accountability publicó una base con 80 sacerdotes, clérigos y una monja acusados de abuso sexual contra menores de edad en Chile.

Esta base de datos, que incluye casos desde el 2000, remarca que Ezzati es un líder incapaz de ponerle fin a los abusos y que, por el contrario, ha permitido que sacerdotes condenados vuelvan a sus funciones.

Respecto al arzobispo de Santiago, Anne Barrett-Doyle, fundadora de Bishop Accountability, manifestó que "su rol es clave (aunque) no puedo decir -porque no tengo toda la información- de que está activamente encubriendo los casos".

"Lo que sí sabemos que está haciendo es que está devolviendo a sacerdotes acusados de abuso al ejercicio y eso es algo que va dejando una clara evidencia. Si en Estados Unidos esto ocurriera, sería un escándalo criminal de proporciones", remarcó.

[Partial Google Translation: Highlighting the role of Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati in cases of sexual abuse in the Chilean Catholic Church, the international organization Bishop Accountability published a base with 80 priests, clerics and a nun accused of sexual abuse against minors in Chile.

This database, which includes cases since 2000, points out that Ezzati is a leader incapable of putting an end to abuses and, on the contrary, has allowed condemned priests to return to their functions.]

Papa Francisco envía fuerte señal sobre abusos a menores

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

[Pope Francis sends strong signal about abuse of minors]

January 11, 2018

By A. Tapia and C. Mardones

El Vaticano anunció este miércoles la intervención del Sodalicio, un movimiento laico católico peruano que enfrenta una serie de denuncias de abusos.

En la recta final de la visita del Papa Francisco a Chile y Perú, el Vaticano dio este miércoles una contundente señal contra los abusos sexuales a menores en la Iglesia. En un mensaje que ha calado hondo en Perú, la Santa Sede comunicó que dispuso la intervención del grupo laico católico peruano Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, cuyo fundador enfrenta denuncias por parte de la justicia limeña por una serie de casos de abusos contra menores.

El anuncio se conoció justo una semana antes del arribo del Pontífice a Perú (18 al 21 de enero) y a días de su llegada a Chile (15 al 18 de enero). El Sodalicio es una sociedad de vida apostólica que depende de la Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada y las Sociedades de Vida Apostólica del Vaticano. En su momento se convirtió en la primera sociedad de vida apostólica laica en ser reconocida por el derecho pontificio.

El Vaticano informó que el comisario apostólico será el obispo de Jericó (Colombia), Noel Antonio Londoño. Los principales cuestionamientos tienen que ver con el rol que tuvo al interior de la institución el fundador del Sodalicio, Luis Fernando Figari, de 70 años y quien actualmente vive confinado en Roma.

[Partial Google Translation: The scandal in Peru exploded thanks to the publication, in October 2015, of the book Half monks, half soldiers, of journalists Pedro Salinas and Paola Ugaz. This text, from the Planeta publishing house, gathers testimonies from 30 former Sodalicio members who denounced having been victims of physical, sexual and psychological abuse carried out by Figari and other leaders of the institution. "We started to investigate in December 2010 and now there are more than 500 cases," Ugaz told La Tercera.

After the publication of the book, a success of sales in Peru, Sodalicio lamented "the actions and omissions committed by community members" and "we ask for forgiveness (to the victims) and we offer our willingness to listen and help."

But Figari has never responded for what is incriminated. Already in the same 2015 the Vatican ordered an investigation on Sodalicio, that was in charge of the American cardinal Joseph Tobin. However, the intervention that was known today means, according to analysts, that the Holy See estimates that the movement has been unable to reform itself.]

Comunicado

LIMA (PERU)
Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana

January 10, 2018

En referencia al nombramiento de un Comisario Apostólico para el Sodalicio comunicamos lo siguiente:

1) Este miércoles 10 de enero hemos recibido la noticia del nombramiento que la Santa Sede ha hecho de Mons. Noel Antonio Londoño Buitrago, C.Ss.R., Obispo de Jericó en el departamento de Antioquia (Colombia) como Comisario Apostólico de nuestra Sociedad.

2) Como Comisario Apostólico, Mons. Londoño podrá intervenir directamente en el gobierno de nuestra Sociedad, también en las cuestiones económicas y los demás asuntos de la marcha habitual del Sodalicio.

3) El Cardenal Joseph Tobin seguirá ejerciendo la función de Delegado ad nutum de la Congregación. Como hemos hecho hasta ahora con el Cardenal Joseph Tobin desde su nombramiento como Delegado para Sodalicio en mayo de 2016, colaboraremos en todo con Mons. Londoño para que pueda ejercer sus funciones según lo dispuesto por la Santa Sede.

4) Agradecemos al Papa Francisco y a la Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada y las Sociedades de Vida Apostólica que sigan con preocupación la vida de nuestra comunidad y reiteramos nuestra disposición para acoger todo lo que disponga para la mejor marcha de nuestra Sociedad. Reafirmamos una vez más nuestra absoluta obediencia al Santo Padre y a la Santa Madre Iglesia.

[Partial Google Translation: We thank Pope Francis and the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life for following the life of our community with concern and we reiterate our willingness to accept all that is available for the better progress of our Society. We reaffirm once again our absolute obedience to the Holy Father and the Holy Mother Church.]

Pope Tabs Colombian Bishop to Oversee Lay Catholic Society Amid Ongoing Crisis

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency via National Catholic Register

January 10, 2018

By Elise Harris

Colombian Bishop Noel Londoño Buitrago has been appointed papal commissioner for the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, while it deals with revelations that its founder was a serial abuser.

The Vatican announced Wednesday that Colombian Bishop Noel Londoño Buitrago has been appointed papal commissioner for the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, a Catholic society of apostolic life.

Bishop Londoño, of the Diocese of Jericó, will oversee the community as it continues a process of reform, following revelations that its founder, Luis Fernando Figari, committed serial acts of abuse while leading the community. Several former leaders of the community have also faced related allegations.

Bishop Londoño’s appointment was announced in a Jan. 10 communique from the Vatican, which stated that he would carry out his role alongside Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, who has served as papal delegate overseeing the SCV’s reform process since May 2016.

Cardinal Tobin will continue to be the group’s liaison with the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and will focus primarily on reforming economic matters. In his role as Commissioner, Bishop Londoño will oversee the leadership of order as it continues to reform their governing policies and formation procedures.

Papa Francisco ordena intervenir el Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, institución controladora de la U. Gabriela Mistral

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
El Monstrador

[Pope Francis orders intervention in the Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, the controlling institution of the Gabriela Mistral University in Santiago]

January 11, 2018

By Camila Bustamente

En diciembre, la persecutora María León Pizarro pidió nueve meses de prisión preventiva contra Luis Figari, investigado por los presuntos delitos de asociación ilícita para delinquir y lesiones graves, en relación con un caso de abusos sexuales.

A menos de una semana del viaje apostólico del Papa Francisco a Chile y Perú, el Vaticano ordenó intervenir el Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana (también conocido por su nombre en latín Sodalitium Christianae Vítae, SCV), luego de varios años de acusaciones de abuso sexual, maltrato físico y psicológico, contra su fundador, Luis Fernando Figari, y otros integrantes de la entidad religiosa.

Cabe recordar que en Chile dicha institución religiosa es dueña de la Universidad Gabriela Mistral, el Saint Joseph School en Huechuraba, una comunidad en el exclusivo sector de Los Trapenses y está a cargo de la Parroquia “Madre de los Apóstoles” en Maipú. Los sodalicios llegaron al país en 1999, invitados por el entonces arzobispo de Santiago, Francisco Javier Errázuriz.

La información se dio a conocer este miércoles 10 de enero, a través de un comunicado de la Oficina de Prensa del Vaticano. El decreto indica que la Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada y las Sociedades de Vida Apostólica, instancia formal de la que depende el SCV, nombró como comisario apostólico al obispo colombiano Noel Antonio Londoño Buitrago.

[Google Translation: Pope Francis orders to intervene the Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, the controlling institution of the U. Gabriela Mistral

In December, the persecutor María León Pizarro requested nine months of preventive detention against Luis Figari, investigated for the alleged crimes of conspiracy to commit crimes and serious injuries, in relation to a case of sexual abuse.

Less than a week after Pope Francis's apostolic trip to Chile and Peru, the Vatican ordered the intervention of the Sodality of Christian Life (also known by its Latin name Sodalitium Christianae Vítae, SCV), after several years of accusations of sexual abuse, physical and psychological abuse, against its founder, Luis Fernando Figari, and other members of the religious entity.

It is worth remembering that in Chile this religious institution owns the Gabriela Mistral University, the Saint Joseph School in Huechuraba, a community in the exclusive Los Trapenses sector and is in charge of the Parish "Mother of the Apostles" in Maipú. The sodalicios arrived in the country in 1999, invited by the then archbishop of Santiago, Francisco Javier Errázuriz.

The information was released on Wednesday, January 10, through a statement from the Vatican Press Office. The decree indicates that the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, the formal instance on which the SCV depends, appointed as its apostolic commissioner the Colombian bishop Noel Antonio Londoño Buitrago.]

Communiqué of the Press Office of the Holy See

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Press Office

January 10, 2018

La Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada y las Sociedades de Vida Apostólica ha promulgado hoy, miércoles 10 de enero de 2018, el Decreto en el que dispone el Comisariamento de la Sociedad de vida apostólica Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana) y nombra Comisario Apostólico de la citada Sociedad a Su Excelencia Mons. Noel Antonio Londoño Buitrago, C.Ss.R., Obispo de Jericó (Antioquía), Colombia.

El Cardenal Joseph William Tobin, C.Ss.R., continuará siendo referente de la Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada y las Sociedades de Vida Apostólica en cuanto Delegado ad nutum en relación con Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, particularmente para las cuestiones de índole económica.

El Santo Padre Francisco ha seguido con preocupación todas las informaciones que, desde hace varios años, han ido llegando a la Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada y las Sociedades de Vida Apostólica sobre la situación del Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana. El Papa se ha mostrado especialmente atento a la notable gravedad de las informaciones acerca del régimen interno, la formación y la gestión económica-financiera, motivo por el cual ha pedido con insistencia al Dicasterio una particular atención. A esto se han sumado últimamente las graves medidas adoptadas por la autoridad judicial peruana con respecto al Sr. Luis Fernando Figari. Después de un profundo análisis de toda la documentación, el Dicasterio ha promulgado el Decreto de Comisariamento.

[Google Translation: Communiqué of the Press Office of the Holy See, 10.01.2018

The Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life has promulgated today, Wednesday, January 10, 2018, the Decree in which the Commissariat of the Society of Apostolic Life Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (Sodality of Christian Life) and appoints Apostolic Commissioner of the aforementioned Society to His Excellency Mons. Noel Antonio Londoño Buitrago, C.Ss.R., Bishop of Jericó (Antioquia), Colombia.

Cardinal Joseph William Tobin, C.Ss.R., will continue to be a reference of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life as Delegate ad nutum in relation to Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, particularly for economic issues .

The Holy Father Francis has followed with concern all the information that, for several years, has been reaching the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life on the situation of the Sodality of Christian Life. The Pope has been especially attentive to the remarkable seriousness of the information about the internal regime, training and economic-financial management, which is why he has insistently asked the Dicastery for particular attention. To this have been added recently the serious measures adopted by the Peruvian judicial authority with respect to Mr. Luis Fernando Figari. After a thorough analysis of all the documentation, the Dicastery has promulgated the Comisariamento Decree.]

Amid abuse allegations, Vatican names trustee to lead Sodalitium

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service via The Pilot

January 10, 2017

By Cindy Wooden

Saying Pope Francis is following the situation with concern, the Vatican named a Colombian bishop to be the trustee of the scandal-plagued Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, a Catholic movement based in Peru.

The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life appointed Bishop Noel Londono Buitrago of Jerico, Colombia, trustee of the group, the Vatican press office announced Jan. 10.

Pope Francis, the statement said, "has followed with concern all the information that for years has arrived at the congregation" about the movement founded by Luis Fernando Figari. In 2017, Sodalitium leaders released a report acknowledging that Figari sexually, physically and psychologically abused minors, teen and young adult members of the movement.

Pope Francis "insistently requested" the congregation to act, the statement said, adding that he had been "particularly attentive to the gravity of the information regarding the (movement's) internal regime, the formation" process members went through and the financial operations of the group.

Those concerns, along with a Peruvian court's request that Figari be jailed pending a criminal investigation into allegations of sexual and psychological abuse, led to the congregation's decision to name a trustee to assume control of the movement, the statement said. Figari apparently is living in Rome; in the first weeks of 2017, the Vatican informed Sodalitium leaders that Figari had been ordered to remain in Rome and not have any contact with the organization or give interviews to the media.

Ahead of trip, pope orders takeover of Catholic group in Peru

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

January 10, 2018

By Philip Pullella

[Note: See also Report on Abuses and Response in the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, February 10, 2017).

Pope Francis has ordered the Vatican takeover of an elite Catholic society in Peru whose founder is accused of sexually and physically abusing children and former members of the group.

The move, announced by the Vatican on Wednesday, is the latest in a saga that has damaged the reputation of the Catholic Church in Peru and comes a week before Francis is set to make his first visit as pope to that country and Chile.

Victims of sexual abuse say he has not done enough to put a stop to it. The credibility of a commission he formed in 2014 has been severely damaged by the defections of senior members who accused the Vatican of dragging its feet.

El Vaticano anunció la intervención del grupo católico en Perú

CARACAS (VENEZUELA)
El Universal

January 11, 2018

[Note: See also a recent report on SVC in English and Spanish.]

[Excerpt in corrected Google translation: The Vatican announced the intervention of the Catholic group in Peru

On the other hand, priests, deacons and a nun comprise a list of nearly 80 religious accused of sexually abusing minors in Chile since 2000, according to a database released Wednesday in Santiago by the American NGO Bishop Accountability.

One week before Pope Francis arrived in Peru, the Vatican announced on Wednesday that it will intervene in the Peruvian ultraconservative Catholic group Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana (SVC), whose leaders are accused of sexual abuse and of various kinds.]

Por otra parte, sacerdotes, diáconos y una monja completan una lista de casi 80 religiosos acusados de abusar sexualmente de menores en Chile desde el año 2000, según una base de datos difundida este miércoles en Santiago por la ONG estadounidense Bishop Accountability.

Vaticano/Lima. - A una semana de la llegada al Perú del papa Francisco, el Vaticano anunció el miércoles que intervendrá al grupo católico ultraconservador peruano Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana (SVC), a cuyos líderes se acusa de abusos sexuales y de diverso tipo.

"Francisco ha seguido con preocupación todas las informaciones que, desde hace varios años, han ido llegando sobre la situación", afirma el comunicado mediante el cual el Vaticano anunció la intervención, que incluye la salida del actual jefe del SVC, Alessandro Morini, indicó DPA.

El académico peruano Wilfredo Ardito, experto en temas de la Iglesia, calificó el anuncio como "excelente noticia", mientras que Paola Ugaz, coautora del libro que develó los secretos, afirmó que es "un buen día para las víctimas y el periodismo de investigación".

El tema SVC es, en opinión de expertos, una piedra en el zapato para Francisco en la visita de cuatro días que hará al Perú, pues el Vaticano ha protegido al fundador del grupo, Luis Fernando Figari, en quien se concentran la mayoría de denuncias.

El periodista José Enrique Escardó, una de las víctimas que rompieron el silencio, no se mostró convencido con el anuncio: "(Francisco) hace la finta (teatro) para que nadie diga que no hizo nada", señaló.

Investigadora norteamericana destroza al clero católico chileno: “Tratan bien a abusadores, pero son muy duros con víctimas”

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
El Ciudadano

January 10, 2018

[Excerpt in corrected Google translate: During the morning of this Wednesday, Anne Barrett-Doyle, an American who has been investigating cases of abuses in the Catholic Church with the organization BishopAccountability.org for 15 years, offered a powerful press conference in our country. In the Foundation for Trust - created by James Hamilton, Juan Carlos Cruz and José Andrés Murillo, three of the young people sexually abused by priest Fernando Karadima - she released the first detailed public file on sexual abuse imputed to the clergy in Chile .

Specifically, the document provides extensive summaries and hundreds of electronic sources that detail the cases of about 80 priests, deacons, religious brothers and a nun, accused of sexual abuse.

* * *

Anne Barrett-Doyle took the time to go over each of the most important cases of authorities of the local Catholic Church who have turned a deaf ear to the allegations of sexual abuse inside the institution.

It is in this context that, among others, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati appeared. He said that he has allowed several religious accused of sexual abuse to return to work, as happened for example with Cristián Precht. "The investigation into Precht yielded at least 20 victims, between 15 and 35 years old, who had been abused by this priest, however, Cardinal Ezzati believes that after 5 years he can return to say Masses and be a priest," the North American researcher observed.]

"El Papa debería remover a estas personas de sus cargos", demandó Anne Barrett-Doyle, co-directora de BishopAccountability.org, organización que este miércoles dio a conocer un archivo con los nombres de cerca de 80 religiosos acusados de abuso sexual.]

Durante la mañana de este miércoles, Anne Barrett-Doyle, estadounidense que lleva 15 años investigado junto a la organización BishopAccountability.org casos de abusos en la Iglesia Católica, ofreció una potente conferencia en nuestro país. En la Fundación para la Confianza –creada por James Hamilton, Juan Carlos Cruz y José Andrés Murillo, tres de los jóvenes abusados sexualmente por el sacerdote Fernando Karadima-, dio a conocer el primer archivo público detallado sobre los abusos sexuales imputados al clero en Chile.

Específicamente, el documento proporciona resúmenes extensos y cientos de fuentes electrónicas que detallan los casos de cerca de 80 sacerdotes, diáconos, hermanos religiosos y una monja, acusados de abuso sexual. Todas denuncias reportadas a la autoridad “en periodos absolutamente razonables”, según apuntó Barrett-Doyle, y que “demuestran qué tantas cosas se mantienen ocultas, escondidas”.

Una lista que, postula la investigadora, es solo una fracción de la que debiera ser “si los obispos y las autoridades eclesiásticas chilenas estuvieran obligadas a reportar los delitos que ocurren dentro de la Iglesia”. Algo que se suma a la necesidad de que el sistema legal le dé más tiempo y espacio a las víctimas para construir casos civiles y criminales, y que los líderes de la institución religiosa sean investigados por fiscales y autoridades de Estado.

Junto a ello sumó -refiriéndose al rol del Vaticano- que “la falta de presión externa le ha permitido a la Iglesia Católica chilena operar en la impunidad”.

Ezzati y los obispos

Anne Barrett-Doyle se dio el tiempo de ir detallando cada uno de los casos más importantes de autoridades de la Iglesia Católica local que han hecho oídos sordos a las denuncias de abusos sexuales al interior de la institución.

Es en ese contexto que, entre otros, apareció el Cardenal Ricardo Ezzati. Sobre él señaló que ha permitido que varios religiosos acusados de abuso sexual vuelvan a ejercer su labor, como lo ocurrido por ejemplo con Cristián Precht. “La investigación sobre Precht arrojó al menos 20 víctimas, entre 15 y 35 años, que habían sido abusados por este sacerdote, sin embargo, el Cardenal Ezzati opina que luego de 5 años puede volver a practicar misas y ser sacerdote”, criticó la investigadora norteamericana.

“Ezzati es el hombre más poderoso dentro de la Iglesia Católica chilena. Si él como líder no le da importancia a lo de ‘cero tolerancia’, ¿qué podemos esperar para los otros dentro de la Iglesia chilena?”, cuestionó Barrett-Doyle.

En ese mismo contexto, Anne relató que cuando realizaban la investigación que dieron a conocer esta jornada, estaban “atónitos” con el comportamiento de los obispos chilenos. “Tratan bien a los abusadores, pero son muy duros con las víctimas”, sostuvo. Junto a ello, señaló que éstos “se muestran muy orgullosos de su protocolo contra el abuso publicado en 2015, pero sus omisiones son notables: no hace mención a ‘cero tolerancia’ en ninguna parte”, así como tampoco -agregó- se habla de reparación, a diferencia de lo que ocurre en países como Estados Unidos.

January 10, 2018

Pope Francis to face protests in Chile over bishop appointment

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Reuters

January 10, 2018

By Dave Sherwood

Chileans protesting Pope Francis’s 2015 appointment of a Roman Catholic bishop accused of protecting an alleged pedophile threaten to cast a shadow over the pontiff’s visit to South America next week.

Parishioners in Osorno, a small city 800 kilometers (497 miles) south of the Chilean capital, say Vatican representatives denied their requests to meet with Francis. They plan to protest every day of the Pope’s Jan. 15 - 18 stay in Chile.

Pope Francis, who hails from neighboring Argentina and once briefly lived in Chile, has defended Osorno Bishop Juan Barros and says allegations that he covered up abuses by one of Chile’s most notorious sexual predators were unfounded.

Planned demonstrations in Chile, a staunchly Catholic country, have rekindled accusations Francis has not done enough to root out sexual abuse in the Church, especially holding bishops accountable for covering up or mishandling sexual abuse.

ONG de EEUU lanzó listado con más de 80 casos de clérigos involucrados en abusos en Chile

CONCEPCIÓN (CHILE)
Bio Bio Chile

January 10, 2018

By Guido Focacci and Aristeo Andrés

Con el objetivo de llamar al papa Francisco a cumplir su compromiso de “tolerancia cero” en casos de abuso sexual en acciones concretas contra sus autores, la agrupación Bishop Accountability lanzó un sitio con 80 religiosos chilenos involucrados, acusando especialmente al cardenal Ricardo Ezzati de encubrimiento.

La agrupación, liderada por Anne Barrett-Doyle, indicó que este encubrimiento en ninguna parte del mundo es tan potente como en Chile y apuntó a Ezzati, como principal autoridad católica del país, a tomar medidas en estos casos.

La investigadora recalcó los casos de los rel//rbb.cl/j16f Publicado por igiosos Christian Precht, Julio Dutilh y Juan Barros como hechos visibles, donde se ha permitido continuar con el sacerdocio pese a ser denunciados y hasta condenados por El Vaticano.

El director ejecutivo de la Fundación para la Confianza, José Murillo, aseguró que este mensaje de la agrupación es para que el Papa cumpla con su compromiso de tolerancia cero para no tener casos impunes.

ONG estadounidense revela casos de abuso sexual por parte de sacerdotes chilenos

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Agence France Presse via 24 Horas

January 10, 2018

El sitio reveló que casi ochenta sacerdotes, diáconos y una monja de nacionalidad chilena abusaron de menores de edad.

Sacerdotes, diáconos y una monja chilenos completan una lista de casi ochenta religiosos acusados desde el año 2000 de abusar sexualmente de menores en Chile, según una base de datos difundida este miércoles en Santiago por la ONG estadounidense Bishop Accountability.

"Hoy estamos presentando una base de datos de casi 80 clérigos en Chile, sacerdotes, monjes y una monja que han sido acusados de abusar sexualmente de niños", denunció Ann Barrett-Doyle, codirectora de la ONG que desde 2003 se dedica a publicar los archivos de abusadores dentro de la Iglesia católica, en una rueda de prensa en Santiago.

A cinco días de la llegada del papa Francisco a Chile, la organización denunció la falta de compromiso de los jerarcas católicos, en especial los chilenos, para erradicar la pederastia en la iglesia.

Organización lanza sitio con casos de sacerdotes chilenos acusados de abuso sexual

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
El Dínamo

January 10, 2018

La organización Bishop Accountability, radicada en Estados Unidos, se encarga de proporcionar información a través de Internet acerca de los distintos casos de sacerdotes acusados y condenados por abuso sexual, así como también a religiosos que han actuado como encubridores del delito.

A menos de una semana de la llegada del Papa a Chile, la entidad lanzó en su sitio información sobre los casos chilenos. En total se registraron 70, que agrupa a sacerdotes, diáconos, hermanos religiosos y una monja. Cada nombre está acompañado de un resumen junto con información al lugar que pertenecen y enlaces de noticias al respecto.

Anne Barrett-Doyle, representante de Bishop Accountability, señaló que este lanzamiento se hizo previo a la visita de Francisco I “con la esperanza de que alguno de sus asistentes le haga ver que no ha cumplido con su promesa de tolerancia cero”.

La organización busca que el Papa remueva al cardenal Ricardo Ezatti y a otros obispos que -según acusa Bishop Accountability- habrían encubiertos otros casos como Horacio Valenzuela (Talca) y Cristian Contreras (San Felipe). “El Papa dice que llora por las víctimas. Queremos que transforme las lágrimas en acciones”, indicó.

Ad Portas de Visita Papal: Lanzan Nómina de Religiosos Acusados de Abusos en Chile

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Nacion

January 10, 2018

By Giselle Saure

La nómina que incluye identidades, cargos, fotografías y la descripción de los actos cometidos contra sus víctimas fue elaborada por la organización internacional que se dedica a indagar este tema Bishop Accountability.

Fernando Karadima, Andrés Aguirre alias el cura “Tato”, Cristián Precht y John O´Reilly, son los rostros más conocidos en la lista de 78 religiosos que aparecen en el listado de miembros de la iglesia católica chilena denunciados por abusos sexuales en los últimos 15 años desde que se destaparon estos delitos y que han mermado el respeto y la credibilidad en la institución en el país.

La nómina elaborada por el grupo internacional Bishop Accountability, con sede en Estados Unidos, que se dedica a investigar estos delitos cometidos por integrantes de la iglesia católica, es el primer banco de datos donde aparecen con fotografías, nombres y congregaciones de los miembros de la institución que han sido denunciados por estos casos, incluidos cuatro obispos.

Este nuevo recurso electrónico fue presentado por Anne Barrett-Doyle, investigadora católica y fundadora de la entidad que fue clave para las indagatorias realizadas por el Boston Globe, sobre abusos sexuales en esa ciudad de Estados Unidos.

Organización que investiga abusos sexuales en la Iglesia critica a Ezzati por minimizar denuncias

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

January 10, 2018

By Claudia Soto

Anne Barrett-Doyle, representante del grupo internacional Bishop Accountability, aseguró que sería un "gran gesto" del Papa Francisco que removiera al arzobispo de Santiago y a otros obispos como Cristián Contreras Molina y Horacio Valenzuela, por no haber intervenido adecuadamente en estos casos. En cuanto al Pontífice, señaló que "no ha cumplido con su promesa de tolerancia cero" contra los abusos.

La investigadora Anne Barrett-Doyle, mostrando una fotografía del cardenal Ezzati.
El grupo Bishop Accountability, con sede en Estados Unidos y representado por Anne Barrett-Doyle, lanzó este miércoles el primer banco de datos publicado en Internet sobre los clérigos chilenos que han sido denunciados por abuso sexual de menores. Este nuevo recurso electrónico proporciona detalles de los casos de 79 sacerdotes, diáconos, hermanos religiosos y una monja en nuestro país, que han sido condenados por la justicia. Sin embargo, se indica que de acuerdo a lo estudiado, deben hacer cientos de casos que aún se mantienen ocultos.

Barrett-Doyle explicó que este lanzamiento se hizo previo a la visita del Papa Francisco “con la esperanza de que alguno de sus asistentes le haga ver que no ha cumplido con su promesa de tolerancia cero” contra los abusos.

Las 80 denuncias por abuso sexual que ha enfrentado la Iglesia en Chile

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

January 9, 2017

By Sebastián Labrín and Juan Pablo Sallaberry

[Note: Includes a table of accused, including priests accused of sexual misconduct with adults. See also BishopAccountability.org's database, focused on clerics who are accused of offending against minors.]

En los últimos 15 años, desde el caso de Andrés Aguirre, el “cura Tato”, 80 sacerdotes y religiosos católicos han sido acusados de delitos de connotación sexual. De ese total, 45 fueron condenados por la justicia civil o canónica, y de ellos, 34 tienen como víctimas a menores de edad. La situación más reciente involucra a la congregación marista.

La investigación sobre abusos cometidos por miembros de la Congregación de los Hermanos Maristas en colegios chilenos sigue en escalada, luego de que ayer el diario catalán El Periódico llevara en su portada un reportaje sobre cómo la orden religiosa silenciaba las denuncias.

La Fiscalía Sur maneja antecedentes sobre los presuntos delitos sexuales cometidos por seis maristas -dos de ellos ya fallecidos-, investigación que se inició a partir de una denuncia contra Abel Pérez Ruiz, acusado de abusar de 14 menores, 10 del Instituto Alonso de Ercilla y otros cuatro del Colegio Marcelino Champagnat, en La Pintana.

¿Cuántos sacerdotes y religiosos católicos están vinculados a casos de abusos sexuales en Chile? La nómina es mantenida en privado por la Iglesia. El 2011, tras las denuncias de abusos sexuales contra el sacerdote Fernando Karadima, el episcopado decidió subir a su página web un listado con los condenados por este tipo de delitos, que entonces llegaba a 18 presbíteros sancionados por la justicia civil o la canónica. Sin embargo, el 2016 se retiró la lista de nombres cuando los casos sumaban 32.

La ONG norteamericana Bishop Accountability, entidad que recopila casos de abusos sexuales cometidos por sacerdotes en todo el mundo, ha estado trabajando en un listado de religiosos chilenos que han enfrentado denuncias de este tipo. Anne Barrett Doyle, directora de la organización, presentará el documento en una conferencia de prensa este miércoles.

Una investigación de La Tercera compiló toda la información oficial publicada por la Iglesia sobre denuncias presentadas desde 2002 (año en que se destapó el caso de Andrés Aguirre, el “cura Tato”); hizo una completa revisión de los archivos de prensa; consultó al Ministerio Público sobre el estado de las causas, y examinó medios regionales a lo largo de todo Chile para incluir casos locales que jamás fueron conocidos en Santiago.

George Pell's lawyers given ABC interviews in relation to child sexual abuse allegations

AUSTRALIA
Australian Associated Press

January 10, 2018

Cardinal’s lawyers tell court hard drive containing footage and transcripts was handed over in response to subpoena

Cardinal George Pell’s lawyers will examine interview footage from the ABC as Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic fights multiple historical sex offence charges in Victoria.

Pell, who denies the allegations, is the most senior Catholic cleric to be charged with sex offences.

His lawyers returned to Melbourne magistrates court on Wednesday for an administrative update about the subpoenas they sent to the ABC and investigative journalist Louise Milligan, who wrote the book Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell.

In December the ABC and Milligan agreed to hand over some of the material sought by Pell’s lawyers.

“There’s been production to the registry of a hard drive containing footage and transcripts,” defence barrister Ruth Shann told the court on Wednesday.

It is understood the footage contains unedited interviews between Milligan and some of the complainants who have accused Pell of historical sex offences.

Pell was not required to attend court on Wednesday.

The former Sydney and Melbourne archbishop and Ballarat priest has taken leave from his position as Vatican treasurer to defend himself.

He will face a four-week pretrial committal hearing in March to determine if he should stand trial.

Some of the hearing will be closed to the public when the complainants give evidence about the alleged sexual offences.

Church: Guam archbishop faces new sexual assault allegation

HAGATNA (GUAM)
Associated Press

January 9, 2018

HAGATNA, Guam – Catholic church officials in Guam say they have notified the Vatican of a new sexual abuse allegation against Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

According to the Archdiocese of Agana, a relative of Apuron claimed to local media he was abused by the archbishop in 1990.

Apuron already faces multiple allegations of sexual abuse of altar boys in the 1970s.

He has denied those claims and has not been criminally charged. His lawyer Jacqueline Terlaje didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

The allegations against Apuron prompted a Vatican tribunal. Archbishop Michael Byrnes says he was informed by Vatican officials late last year that a verdict has been reached, but it has not yet been released.

The Vatican sent Byrnes to Guam to replace Apuron on an administrative basis.

Vatican takes over Peru-based movement on eve of pope's trip

VATICAN CITY
Tampa Bay Times

January 10, 2018

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican on Wednesday took over a Peru-based Catholic movement whose founder was accused of sexual and psychological abuse, just days before Pope Francis starts a trip to Chile and Peru where the sexual abuse scandal is expected to play out on the sidelines.

A Vatican statement said the congregation for religious orders had issued a decree naming a commissioner to take over the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, a conservative movement that has some 20,000 members and chapters throughout South America and the U.S.

The move came just weeks after Peruvian prosecutors announced they were seeking the arrest of Sodalitium's founder, Luis Figari.

A journalist and former member of the society began publicly accusing Figari of abuse in 2010. While Figari had never been charged, many of the allegations were confirmed by a Vatican inquiry. Figari was ordered to cut contact with members of the society last year, and has been living in Rome.

He has never provided concrete responses to the accusations. His Peru-based lawyer, Armando Lengua, has said he hasn't been in contact with Figari, saying he is unreachable in the Sodalitium prayer and retreat house in Rome.

Some of Sodalitium's victims had denounced the Vatican's handling of the case, saying in 2017 that the six-year delay in taking any action, and subsequently allowing Figari to live in retirement in Rome, was anything but satisfactory.

In the statement, the Vatican said Francis had followed the Sodalitium saga for years, had asked that the congregation pay particular attention to it and was "particularly concerned about the seriousness of information about the internal regime, the training and financial management."

The Vatican said the congregation had decided on the "commissioning" of the society after the recent moves by Peruvian prosecutors to arrest Figari and a "profound analysis of all the documentation."

Vatican takes over scandal-hit Catholic society on eve of pope's trip to Peru

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

January 10, 2018

- Peruvian founder of Sodalitium Christianae Vitae accused of sexual abuse
- Victims denounce Vatican’s handling and protests likely during pontiff’s visit

The Vatican has taken over a Peru-based Catholic movement whose founder was accused of sexual and psychological abuse, just days before Pope Francis starts a trip to Chile and Peru where the sexual abuse scandal is expected to play out on the sidelines.

A Vatican statement said the congregation for religious orders had issued a decree naming a commissioner to take over the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, a conservative movement that has chapters and about 20,000 members throughout South America and the US.

The move came just weeks after Peruvian prosecutors announced they were seeking the arrest of Sodalitium’s founder, Luis Figari.

While Figari had never been charged, many of the allegations were confirmed by a Vatican inquiry. He was ordered to cut contact with members of the society, and has been living in Rome.

In the statement, the Vatican said Francis had followed the Sodalitium scandal for years, had asked that the congregation pay particular attention to it and was “particularly concerned about the seriousness of information about the internal regime, the training and financial management.”

Top-Tier Gymnast Maggie Nichols Says Larry Nassar Sexually Abused Her, Too

UNITED STATES
The Huffington Post

January 9, 2018

By Alanna Vagianos

Nichols wrote in a statement that she was the first to alert USA Gymnastics of Nassar’s abuse in 2015.

Gymnast Maggie Nichols alleged Tuesday that she was among the young women sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar.

In a statement released by Nichols’ attorney, the former elite gymnast alleged that Nassar sexually abused her “numerous times,” starting when she was 15 years old.

“Recently, three of my friends and former National Team members who medaled at the 2012 Olympics have bravely stepped forward to proclaim they were sexually assaulted by USA Gymnastics Team physician Dr. Larry Nassar,” Nichols said in the statement, obtained by Time magazine. “Today I join them.”

Nichols said she was the first victim to alert USA Gymnastics of Nassar’s abuse in 2015, which subsequently led to his arrest in 2016. She wrote that she was discussing Nassar’s treatment with a teammate during practice one day when a coach overheard.

“I had never told my coach about these treatments,” Nichols said. “After hearing our conversation she asked me more questions about it and said it doesn’t seem right ... so she did the right thing and reported this abuse to the USA Gymnastics staff.”

Nassar has been accused of serial sexual abuse by over 125 young women, including elite gymnasts Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney. All of the victims claim that Nassar abused them during routine medical exams; some say they were as young as 12 at the time of the alleged abuse.

Metro East priest facing more than 15 child pornography charges

MASCOUTAH (IL)
KMOV

January 8, 2018

An associate Catholic priest from a church in Mascoutah, Illinois is facing multiple charges of possessing and disseminating child pornography.

Belleville police arrested Rev. Gerald Hechenberger, the associate pastor at Holy Childhood Church and School, Monday after reportedly finding him in possession of multiple pornographic images and videos of children under the age of 13.

The officers were turned onto the 54-year-old Hechenberger from an anonymous tip from the Attorney General's ICAC Task Force indicating he was distributing child pornography.

Detectives surveilled Hechenberger online and in person and were eventually granted a warrant to search the rectory at Holy Childhood Catholic Church Monday.

Officers reportedly found drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine along with the images and videos of children.

"There is a rotten apple in every bunch and that should not discredit the church of anyone else because of one person making a mistake," said Andrea Sisson, a lifelong Mascoutah resident. "It doesn't deter me from knowing anyone from there or them doing good in the community. Like I said, one man can't ruin or bring a community down."

Hechenberger faces eight counts of disseminating child pornography in which the victim is less than 13 years old, seven counts of possession of child pornography, one count of possessing child pornography on video and one count of possessing methamphetamine.

He had been at the parish for six years. Previously, he had let it be known he was suffering from depression. At this time there are no known complaints lodged against him in the past. None of the attendees at Tuesday night's service agreed to speak about the situation.

Clergy abuse victims haunted by sex harassment news

UNITED STATES
Associated Press

January 9, 2018

When stories of sexual misconduct by powerful men began to fill the news during the fall, Manny Vega immediately flashed back to his childhood.

He saw strong similarities between the recent allegations against producers and politicians and his own abuse as a child by his parish priest.

“The parallels are in the power dynamics,” said Vega, a former police officer and decorated Marine who lives in Oxnard, California. “Whether you’re the leader of a church or the leader of a film studio, you’re going to be someone people look up to and someone people go to for guidance. It puts the victim at a horrible disadvantage.”

While there are key differences, the sexual harassment detailed in today’s headlines shares the same well-worn themes that made it so hard for Vega and hundreds of other clergy abuse victims to come forward more than a decade ago: fear of retribution and disbelief, impossible power dynamics and confidential settlements that bury complaints.

Powerful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is under investigation for sexual assault in four cities, and has been accused of everything from unwanted come-ons to groping by dozens of women, including A-list actresses. He has apologized for his behavior with women but denied having nonconsensual sex. He has not been charged with a crime.

Child care home abuse denial ‘should be made a crime’

SCOTLAND
The Evening Express

January 10, 2018

Denying the “orchestrated” abuse which took place in child care homes across Scotland should be a crime, an inquiry has heard.

A former resident of Smyllum Park in Lanark made the claim before the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

He described his time at the orphanage as a “Holocaust of developmental trauma” and said Scotland has to “face up” to its past.

The witness, who lived in the Catholic-run home between 1961 and 1965, said his head had been left “spinning” after reading an article suggesting abuse claims about such places were exaggerated.

He added: “What was happening there was a crime against humanity. It was orchestrated.

“It went on for years. I think it was a Holocaust of developmental trauma, inflicted upon thousands of children over decades.

“In Germany it’s a crime to deny the Holocaust and I would like it to be a crime for academics to deny these years and years of abuse.

“Scotland has to face up to this – if you don’t know your own country’s history, you don’t know anything.”

Now in his sixties, he said he still has a recurring nightmare about his time there and wakes up screaming.

According to him, the nuns were “quick to aggression” and “quick to anger”, describing constant physical and mental abuse.

New Whistleblower Site FaithLeaks Releases Confidential Documents About Child Sexual Abuse in Jehovah’s Witnesses Community

UNITED STATES
Gizmodo

January 10, 2018

By Jennings Brown

The founders of MormonLeaks, a transparency organization that has released hundreds of controversial documents related to inner-workings of the Mormon Church, recently launched FaithLeaks, an ambitious and far-reaching project that aims to expose corruption and abuse across other religious organizations. Today, the new group has published dozens of pages of documents related to sexual assault allegations within the Jehovah’s Witness Church, documents which are presumably part of a database that church officials have refused to relinquish in an unrelated sexual molestation trial, resulting in a one and a half year legal battle and millions of dollars in fines.

The 69 pages of documents detail how Jehovah’s Witnesses authorities and church officials handled allegations of repeated sexual assault by one of its local leaders. The interviews and detailed notes compiled by church authorities about molestation and rape allegations are horrific. The 33 documents also provide a staggering play-by-play of how the Watchtower Tract and Bible Society—the parent corporation and governing body for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, often simply referred to as “the Watchtower”—handled the case internally over the course of nearly a decade—playing therapist, prosecutor, jury, and judge—and the lengths to which they went to keep these accusations away from the “worldly court of law.”

The documents show that in 1999, a committee of Jehovah’s Witnesses elders found allegations from two women that their father had sexually abused them to be credible, yet held off on forming an internal judicial committee to take their own form of judicial action against the alleged abuser because one of the daughters was not willing to face the father and formally make the accusations against him, as judicial committee policy requires. Once she went through with the process years later, a spiritually guided trial was held and he was disfellowshipped. However, a year later he was reinstated. The documents show that Jehovah’s Witnesses leaders cast shade on one accuser and her husband for trying to take this matter to secular law enforcement.

Archdiocese alerts Vatican about new allegation against Apuron

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

January 10, 2018

By Haidee V. Eugenio

There still is no word on the results of the Vatican's canonical trial of Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron, according to Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes, who issued a written statement Wednesday in response to the latest sexual abuse allegation against Apuron.

According to the Archdiocese of Agana, the Guam Daily Post reported that Mark Apuron, a nephew of Archbishop Apuron, alleges the archbishop sexually abused in him 1990.

No lawsuit has been filed in connection with that allegation, but Apuron currently faces four lawsuits that accuse him of abusing or raping four Agat altar boys in the late 1970s, when he was parish priest in that village.

"All subsequent information the archdiocese receives regarding this case will be forwarded expeditiously to Rome, adhering to our new, strengthened sexual abuse policy," the archdiocese said in a statement.

"All allegations of sexual abuse brought to the attention of our archdiocese are important because of the grave, irreversible harm all victims of abuse suffer at the hands of persons they once trusted,” Byrnes stated. "We are committed to protecting all children and young people entrusted to our care and to not repeat the serious failings of the past."

In October 2017, Byrnes said Vatican officials informed him that the Vatican tribunal had determined a verdict in Apuron's case. The results still have not been disclosed, according to Byrnes, who was appointed as Apuron's eventual replacement.

To date, 154 Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuits, including four alleging rape or sexual abuse by Apuron, have been filed in local and federal court.

Archdiocese alerts Vatican

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

January 10, 2018

By Mindy Aguon

The Vatican has been alerted about the newest allegation of abuse against Guam's suspended archbishop, according to the Archdiocese of Agana.

Mark Mafnas Apuron, in an exclusive interview with The Guam Daily Post, accused his uncle, Anthony Apuron, of sexually abusing him in 1990 while at an event at the Archdiocese of Agana Chancery Office.

Mark Apuron said he was 16 when the alleged abuse occurred in his "Uncle Tony's" bathroom at the chancery. He alleges he was raped by his uncle and the incident left him estranged from his immediate family members and feeling ashamed and petrified.

"I believed he was the powerful, untouchable uncle," Mark Apuron said.

Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes acknowledged the allegation of sexual abuse and confirmed he alerted Vatican officials about the newest case.

Pastor Andy Savage Apologizes For "Sexual Incident" With Teen Girl, But It’s Her Response You Need To Hear

MEMPHIS (TN)
Bustle

January 10, 2018

By Madhuri Sathish

It wasn't just Hollywood that felt the full impact of the #MeToo movement. People around the world shared their experiences with sexual violence, and held those who had assaulted them accountable. Jules Woodson said a pastor, Andy Savage, sexually assaulted her almost 20 years ago in Woodlands, Texas, and she went public with her allegations last week. Savage publicly apologized to her in church Sunday and received a standing ovation from his Memphis congregation, but Woodson told Memphis' Action News 5 that she found Savage's apology sorely lacking.

“His apology isn’t enough because number one, he’s lying about how he handled it,” Woodson said. “He never came to me, the church told him he couldn’t talk to me and they told me I couldn’t talk to him,” she explained.

Before going public with her story, Woodson sent an email to Savage back in December — on the heels of the Harvey Weinstein scandal — with the subject line, "Do you remember?" In the email, Woodson reminded Savage of a night two decades prior, when Savage was supposed to drive Woodson home from church but instead allegedly sexually assaulted her on a deserted back road. It was only when Savage didn't respond that Woodson spoke out, in a blog post detailing what had happened.

"It's very hard to tell your story," Woodson told Action News 5. "It's very hard to speak up, especially when you feel pressured by the church to be silent."

Church in Scotland criticized for failure to meet with clergy abuse victim groups

SCOTLAND
Christian Daily

January 10, 2018

By Lorraine Caballero

The Catholic Church in Scotland has drawn criticism for its failure to meet with victims and survivors of clergy sexual abuse more than two years after the head of the Scottish bishops' conference offered a public apology over the issue.

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland's former moderator, Rev. Andrew McLellan, said he was "disappointed" by how long it was taking the bishops to meet with sex abuse victims and survivors. He said although the Archbishop of Glasgow, Philip Tartaglia, issued a very good apology, the intervention that came after that was not enough, Crux relayed.

"After Archbishop Tartaglia's public apology, which he did so well, there was a long hard silence, and I was very disappointed in terms of the progress the bishops were making," Rev. McLellan told Scottish newspaper Sunday Herald.

McLellan previously chaired a commission which examined the issue of child protection in the local Catholic Church. In the group's report, which was published in 2015, he outlined eight policy recommendations that included prioritizing support for the abuse survivors and the revision of the "Awareness and Safety" manual on preventing abuse, which was introduced in 2007.

McLellan also highlighted the importance of serving justice to both the victim of abuse and the perpetrators. He added that there must be regular training on safeguarding against clerical abuse.

Associate Pastor charged with possession of child pornography

BELLEVILLE (IL)
FOX2 Now

Janaury 9, 2018

By Chris Smith

BELLEVILLE, IL. – Tuesday the St. Clair State’s Attorney’s Office charged the Associate Pastor of Holy Childhood Catholic Church in Mascoutah with possession of child pornography. 54-year-old Gerald R. Hechenberger has been charged with 16 counts of Dissemination of Child Pornography with the Victim Under the age of 13 and 1 count of Possession of Methamphetamine.

Hechenberger was taken into custody Monday, after investigators from the Belleville Police Department and the Illinois Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force obtained search warrants to search the rectory of the Holy Childhood Catholic Church located in Belleville.

Authorities had acted on a tip that indicated that Hechenberger was distributing child pornography.

Bond for Hechenberger has been set at $2,000,000.

Prosecutor seeks 15 years in prison for Russian priest charged with pedophilia

ST. PETERSBURG (RUSSIA)
RAPSI

January 10, 2018

By Mikhail Telekhov

ST. PETERSBURG, January 10 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – A prosecutor has demanded a 15-year prison sentence for Russian priest Gleb Grozovsky, who stands charged with sexual abuse of children, his sister Lyubov Grozovskaya has told RAPSI.

Moreover, the prosecutor asked a court to prohibit the defendant from practicing his profession for 2 years.

According to investigators, Grozovsky committed several sexual crimes against minors in 2011 and 2013.

Catholic priest is charged with 16 counts of child porn and meth possession after police received an anonymous tip

MASCOUTAH (IL)
Daily Mail

January 10, 2018

By Keith Griffith

- Gerald R. Hechenberger, 54, charged with child porn on Tuesday near St. Louis
- Catholic priest is associate pastor at three parishes in southern Illinois
- Dawn raid on rectory recovered porn of kids under 13 and meth, cops say

A Catholic priest faces charges of child pornography and possession of methamphetamine after an anonymous tipster alerted police.

Gerald R. Hechenberger, 54, was arrested after a dawn police raid Monday morning on the rectory of the Holy Childhood of Jesus parish in Mascoutah, Illinois, a town 30 miles east of St. Louis.

He is charged with eight counts each of possession and dissemination of porn depicting a child under 13, and one count of possessing meth under five grams.

Hechenberger is an associate pastor at Holy Childhood, as well as at nearby parishes St. Pancratius Parish in Fayetteville and St. Liborius Parish in St. Libory.

Detectives in the Belleville Police Department initiated the investigation into Hechenbacher several weeks ago after receiving an online tip through the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force reporting line.

'Catastrophic institutional failure' can be fixed

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

January 9, 2018

By Kieran Tapsell

The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse spent five years interviewing over 8,000 survivors, their abusers and personnel from institutions that had covered up the abuse. The Commission found that 61.8 percent of all survivors within religious institutions had been under the care of the Catholic Church.

The Commission's 17 volume Final Report, released on Dec. 15, 2017, made hundreds of recommendations for change in structures, practices and internal laws of institutions. Many of the recommendations addressed to the church involved changes to canon law.

Two of these recommendations received massive media attention: that celibacy no longer be obligatory and that civil reporting laws should not provide an exemption in the case of confession. There has been some pushback against these recommendations because they involve overturning long traditions in the church.

But many other recommendations had more to do with church law and practice, and could be more easily implemented, if church leadership is willing to take up this challenge.

LILLYBROOKE FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER OPENS

SANDPOINT (ID)
Priest River Times

January 10, 2018

By Keith Kinnaird

SANDPOINT — A new chapter is opening at one of Sandpoint’s most storied homes.

The McFarland House, the stately dwelling at the corner of South First Avenue and Superior Street, is now home to the LillyBrooke Family Justice Center.

The home will serve as an advocacy center for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, although you would not gather that from the home’s comfortable appearance.

“We’re setting it up to look like a house. We just want that feel — like you’re coming to grandma’s house,” said Peggy Frye, victim witness unit coordinator for the Bonner County Prosecutor’s Office.

LillyBrooke, which is patterned after the national child advocacy center model, will serve as something as a hub for abused children in Bonner and Boundary counties.

Children who disclose abuse will be able to do so in a setting that is closer to a home than the sterile confines and pale lighting of an office space. The home will eventually fitted with an audio/video system that will allow children to make their disclosures in one room while a multi-disciplinary team monitors the interview from a different room.

The home will also be used for forensic examinations.

The idea is to bring law enforcement investigators, prosecutors, doctors and Idaho Department of Health & Welfare officials together to take account of disclosures without sending children and their family to various locations where they have to continually restate their accounts.

#MeToo campaign triggers horrid memories for Miami women

MIAMI (FL)
Miami Herald

January 10, 2018

By Brenda Medina

In an old warehouse-turned-office in northwestern Miami, a group of women is about to start a painful but empowering conversation.

Sitting on metal folding chairs around an improvised altar covered with a yellow sheet and a lit candle at its center, 16 women share intimate stories of sexual harassment and abuse.

They are not wealthy or famous celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Taylor Swift or Salma Hayek. Their accused abusers are not powerful men like Harvey Weinstein. Those present at this gathering are everyday Miami women, minorities, immigrants. They clean hotels and homes. They serve as nannies and waitresses. They help care for the sick and the elderly.

What brought them together was the national debate sparked by the #MeToo campaign. The millions of testimonies about sexual harassment and abuse that flooded social and mainstream media made them recall their own traumatic experiences, an issue that Golden Globe honoree Oprah Winfrey brought to the forefront again during a speech earlier this week.

Cardinal Pell living at Sydney seminary ahead of historic sex abuse hearing

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
CNN

January 10, 2018

An Australian seminary where Cardinal George Pell is living while he fights charges of historic sexual abuse says the top Vatican figure is “very much looking forward” to the start of a key court hearing, where dozens of witnesses will give evidence.

It had been unclear where Pell, the most senior cardinal in the history of the Catholic Church to face criminal charges, had been living since he was given a leave of absence from his role at the Holy See and returned to his native Australia.

The spokesman for the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Homebush, Sydney confirmed to CNN the 76-year-old Cardinal was residing at the seminary, where 40 young trainee priests live and study as they prepare for their careers in parishes across the country.

“Cardinal Pell is now very much looking forward to the March hearing and his day in court,” a spokesman for the seminary said. “He has repeatedly said he is innocent of all allegations made against him.”s

In less than two months the Cardinal will face a four-week long committal hearing at Melbourne Magistrates Court where evidence will be heard from 50 witnesses.

At least two weeks of the hearing, which begins March 5, will be in closed court when complainants give evidence via video link. Once the hearing is completed, the magistrate will then decide if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial at a higher court.

At a news conference at the Vatican in June last year, Pell said he had been the victim of “relentless character assassination.”

“I’m innocent of these charges, they are false,” Pell said. “The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.”

Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs is accused of horrific sex abuse — again — and people on the Utah-Arizona line may have to pay — again

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

January 10, 2018

By Nate Carlisle

Land trust may be the only defendant able to pay woman known as “R.H.”

The newest lawsuit against Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints President Warren Jeffs, in which he is accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a girl as young as 8 in a ritualistic fashion, lists 26 defendants.

Only one of them is sure to have money — the United Effort Plan (UEP). It’s the land trust that Jeffs used to control, but which the state of Utah seized in 2005. It has since been reorganized under the eye of a state judge and has been working to provide housing and other benefits to residents in Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., collectively known as Short Creek.

The UEP may still have assets of $100 million.

Margaret Cooke assumes that’s the only reason the UEP is being sued.

“It just seems like it is a ploy to get money because nobody else has any,” said Cooke, a former member of the UEP board of trustees.

In interviews with The Salt Lake Tribune, former FLDS members recoiled at the latest sex abuse allegations against Jeffs. They also voiced bewilderment at why the land trust that has been trying to help those who consider themselves Jeffs’ victims, of one kind or another, is being asked to pay.

As Josie McDonald, 38, who was raised in Short Creek and left the polygamous sect 13 years ago, put it, the UEP is “paying for Warren’s mistakes, essentially, and not him.”

Indonesia's alleged paedophile scandal

INDONESIA
UCANews

January 10, 2018

A part-time Islam religion teacher is accused of molesting at least 41 boys aged between 6-15 years

A teacher in Indonesia has been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing dozens of young boys, officials have said.

Wawan Sutiono, 49, was arrested on Jan. 6 in Tangerang, a town 35 kilometers west of the capital Jakarta.

The part-time Islam religion teacher is accused of molesting at least 41 boys aged between 6-15 years of age over a nine-month period, police said.

The alleged crimes were committed between April and December last year.

The arrest comes after police received a complaint by one of the alleged victims’ parents on Dec 20, 2017.

It was not clear why the police too three weeks to arrest the suspect.

If found guilty, Sutiono could face up to 15 years in prison and chemical castration under a recently introduced law to deal with convicted sex offenders.

A pastor admitted a past ‘sexual incident’ with a teen. His congregation gave him a standing ovation.

MEMPHIS (TN)
The Washington Post

January 10, 2018

By Kyle Swenson

On Dec. 1, as headlines across the country blared with news about Matt Lauer’s surprise firing from the “Today” show for sexual misconduct, a woman named Jules Woodson tapped out a short email. It ran only about 80 words but was nearly 20 years in the making. “Do you remember?” the subject line read.

“Do you remember that night that you were supposed to drive me home from church and instead drove me to a deserted back road and sexually assaulted me?” Woodson wrote. “Do you remember how you acted like you loved me and cared about me in order for me to cooperate in such acts, only to run out of the vehicle later and fall to your knees begging for forgiveness and for me not to tell anyone what had just happened?”

She closed with three words and a hashtag. “Well I REMEMBER,” the email said. “#me-too.”

The message landed in the inbox of Andy Savage, a pastor at Highpoint Church, an evangelical Memphis mega-congregation that draws more than 2,000 Sunday worshipers. The 42-year-old checked all the right boxes for a rising minister: biblically trained, handsome and CrossFit-cut; an attractive wife and five young sons; social media savvy and unafraid of speaking on topics such as sex. Savage’s career had begun as a college student working at a church outside Houston, a congregation Woodson attended as a high school student.

When Savage failed to respond to Woodson’s December email, she took her allegations public on Jan. 5, posting a detailed account of the alleged sexual assault on a blog for abuse survivors. Evangelical circles started spinning with reports of a then-college student forcing a sexual encounter with a student.

Yet instead of following the course of so many recent sexual harassment scandals — reports that have toppled careers in Hollywood, media and politics — Savage’s public outing seems to have failed to upset his position. In a message on the church’s website, he admitted to a “sexual incident” with a high school student at the time. Highpoint’s main pastor, Chris Conlee, also released a statement supporting Savage. And last Sunday, the pastor addressed his congregation about the allegations, but provided little detail.

“In hindsight, I see more could have been done for Jules,” Savage said, according to video. “I am truly sorry more was not done. Until now I did not know there was unfinished business with Jules. So today, I say, Jules I am deeply sorry for my actions 20 years ago.”

As Savage finished his remarks, he was greeted with a 20-second standing ovation from Highpoint’s congregation.

“His apology isn’t enough because number one, he’s lying about how he handled it,” an unsatisfied Woodson told Memphis’s Action News 5. “He never came to me, the church told him he couldn’t talk to me and they told me I couldn’t talk to him,” she explained.

Savage did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But Savage’s situation tracks with a larger tendency within the evangelical community, according to Christa Brown, an expert on church abuse scandals and coverups. “Religious leaders use forgiveness theology as a cover, and as an avoidance, of accountability,” Brown told The Washington Post. “And it’s a way of further shaming victims. ‘What a bad girl you are, you aren’t forgiving.’”

Publicly Accused Priests, Brothers, Sisters, and Deacons in Chile

WALTHAM (MA)
BishopAccountability.org

January 10, 2018

[Note: The Chilean database is also available in Spanish.]

BishopAccountability.org has examined news and court archives and identified nearly 80 clergy in Chile publicly accused of sexually abusing minors.

The database reveals the distinctive aspects of the Catholic abuse crisis in Chile, and the degree to which much remains hidden. Most of the cases detailed below involve abuse that has occurred since 2000 and was reported to law enforcement quickly -- within just a few years of occurrence. We know from Catholic abuse data published elsewhere that such cases comprise a small fraction of the total scope of the problem.

It is worth noting that the factors that have caused significant disclosure elsewhere of secret church files and abusive priests’ names – widespread litigation by victims, investigations of church entities by prosecutors, and inquiries by government commissions – have not so far occurred in Chile.

This list, then, is a fraction of the total number of accused clerics who would be known if Chile's church leaders were required to report to law enforcement, if its legal system allowed victims more time to bring criminal and civil charges, or if dioceses and religious orders were investigated by prosecutors or state commissions. In Australia, which has half as many Catholics as Chile and a comparable number of active priests and brothers (around 5,000), a recently concluded government inquiry counted child sex abuse allegations against more than 1,100 male clergy.

The lack of external pressure allows Catholic church leaders in Chile to act with impunity. They openly reinstate, for instance, priests who have faced multiple allegations of abuse. Chile’s senior churchman, Santiago archbishop Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, announced in December 2016 that Cristián Precht Bañados had fulfilled his canonical sentence of five years’ suspension from ministry. A church investigation had uncovered 20 victims of Precht, ranging from age 15 to 35. Yet Precht is now allowed again to say Mass publicly, Ezzati said; he has regained “his fundamental exercise of the rights he has as a presbyter."

January 9, 2018

Cardinal Pell accuser dies before sexual abuse trial begins

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
Catholic News Agency

January 8, 2018

The legal case against Cardinal George Pell of Australia has taken an unexpected turn, after the death of Damian Dignan, who accused Pell of committing acts of sexual abuse.

Dignan died of leukemia last week in the Australian town of Ballarat, which will likely impact a committal hearing scheduled for March 5 addressing the sexual abuse charges levelled against Pell.

In March 2016, Dignan and two former classmates from St. Alipius school in Ballarat who together accused Pell of inappropriate sexual behavior when they were minors. The cardinal had previously been accused of acts of child sexual abuse dating as far back as 1961.

Without the sworn testimony of Dignan in court, it is possible that prosecutors could drop the case altogether. However, Victorian Police did not confirm or deny the plausibility of this happening, especially because the prosecution could still use sworn statements or evidence given under oath made before Dignan’s death.

In addition, up to 50 witnesses are still expected to testify during the upcoming committal hearing.

Former Victorian magistrate Nicholas Papas did note that convicting Pell without Dignan is a “more difficult task,” according to the DailyMail UK.

Dignan’s lawyer Ingrid Irwin said that it was “ridiculous” that Dignan died “without any justice,” according to the Herald Sun.

Retired teacher is jailed for indecent assaults

ENGLAND
Kingsbridge and Salcombe Gazette

January 8, 2018

By Roger Williams

Villagers have spoken of their shock after a retired teacher was jailed for four years for indecently assaulting boys in his charge at a school in West Sussex.

Peter Burr, 73, of The Square, Kingswear, admitted nine counts of indecent assault between 1969 and 1973 on young boys at Christ’s Hospital School, a boarding school in Horsham, West Sussex.

Burr was well-known in the area. He could often be found at the Ship Inn in Kingswear or the Windjammer in Dartmouth.

Jan Henshall, chairman of Kingswear Parish Council, said: “I believe he was a member of Royal Dart Yacht Club. In the past, he attended the senior citizens lunch at Christmas in the village. He had a social life here and was well-known. From what I can gather from his friends, they are in total shock.”

Jason Byrne, of Kingswear Post Office, said: “He was a good customer and a very nice man. I’m surprised and shocked like everyone else. He’s done wrong and will now have to pay for it.

“He always kept himself to himself. If he was going away, he would not give any details. He would just say I’m going to see some friends, whereas as other people might say where they are going or have been.

“Every Saturday evening, he went to church.”

Burr attended St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Dartmouth.

Richard Rendle said: “I am disappointed because I thought he was a gentleman. I know he helped at the Regatta with classic craft and was a member of the Probus Club in Dartmouth.”

A physics teacher and deputy housemaster at the school, he was sentenced to four years in prison by judge Christine Henson QC, at Hove Crown Court on Friday, January 5, and was given concurrent sentences for each of the victims and a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

DC Rebecca Wilde, of Sussex Police, said; "He clearly focused his sexual attentions on boys between and 11 and 13 in his house, leaving older boys alone.

"Some of the offences took place in his study during informal Wednesday and Sunday afternoon gatherings to watch TV, with tea, biscuits and cake on offer. To be invited was regarded as a great privilege and he took advantage of this, and his status, to systematically touch and molest three of the victims.

"The fourth victim was assaulted in the dormitory area and at the school swimming pool.

"The four boys kept these traumatic experiences largely to themselves for up to 48 years and moved on with their lives.

"We were first told about Burr in February last year, when one of the victims came forward, triggered by hearing a local radio debate in London on the recently publicised football sex abuse scandal, and believing that insufficient attention was given to cases in which offenders were not public celebrities.

"One of the others later came forward after the school advised ex-pupils of the ongoing investigation.

"This is an important reminder that such reports will always be taken seriously, however long ago they are said to have happened."

TENSIONS AHEAD OF PAPAL VISIT TO CHILE

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Tablet

January 9, 2018

By Christopher Lamb

Opinion polls say that just 36 per cent of the Catholic majority population are looking forward to the papal visit

Pope Francis departs on Monday for a trip to Chile and Peru for what will be his sixth visit to Latin America, where issues of clerical sexual abuse and church renewal are likely to feature.

The question of abuse is likely to loom largest in Chile where the Pope has faced criticism for appointing Osorno’s Bishop Juan Barros, accused of covering up abuse by a prominent priest, Fr Fernando Karadima in the 1980s and 90s.

Peter Saunders, a British abuse survivor who recently resigned as a member of the Pope’s child protection commission, says he plans to be in Chile to try and highlight the case. Bishop Barros’ appointment has been a divisive one with 650 people turning up in protest during his ordination ceremony that saw the new bishop needing protection from ushers in order to enter the cathedral.

In impromptu remarks to a group of Chilean pilgrims following a Wednesday General Audience, the Pope criticised Osorno’s protesters saying leftist politicians were leading them “by the nose” and had been allowed to “fill people’s heads, judging a bishop without any evidence.” The Vatican judged Karadima to have abused children and sentenced him to a life of prayer and penitence. Bishop Barros, who was accused of protecting Karadima, has denied covering up.

Catholic ex-priest refuses to speak at sexual abuse trial in Germany

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

January 9, 2018

It's the second court session in which the 53-year-old declined to speak. He faces sexual abuse and other charges. He was expelled from the priesthood in 2008 but continued to pose as a cleric.

A 53-year-old former priest is currently on trial in a district court in the Bavarian city of Deggendorf. Thomas Maria B., who was born in Wuppertal, is accused of having sexually abused five German boys under the age of 14 a total of 110 times between 1997 and 2016. The man is also accused of the attempted rape of an 18-year-old in Austria. The attorney defending the former Catholic priest has said that the man "feels incapable" of testifying before the court. He also refused to address the court in December.

Mentally disturbed defendant

Public prosecutors in Deggendorf have said that the defendant is mentally disturbed and thus cannot be held entirely responsible for his actions. Nevertheless, they see a threat that he could repeat such offenses again in the future. They are therefore calling for the man to be permanently committed to a psychiatric institution. He was previously imprisoned between 2003 and 2009 for the rape and abuse of two young girls.

Entered priesthood with fraudulent documents

After completing studies in theology, the man was ordained a priest in Poland in 1994. State prosecutors accuse the man of having used fake documents to fraudulently gain access to the priesthood. A church court in the German archdiocese of Freiburg removed the man from the priesthood in 2008, which officially forbade him from carrying out priestly work. That decision was upheld by another church court in Munich in 2012.

Metro East priest accused of possessing child porn

MASCOUTAH (IL)
KMOV

January 8, 2018

A Catholic priest from a church in Mascoutah, Illinois is accused of possessing child pornography.

Belleville police say they got a tip leading them to Rev. Gerald Hechenberger, who is the associate pastor at Holy Childhood Church and School.

Investigators say he was distributing images of children under 13-years-old.

He has been arrested but has yet to be charged. Police say the investigation is ongoing.

Trial set in Berkeley County on lawsuit claiming Mormon church covered up abuse

MARTINSBURG (WV)
Herald-Mail Media

January 8, 2018

By Matthew Umstead

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A jury trial is slated to begin next week in Berkeley County (W.Va.) Circuit Court on a lawsuit that claims Mormon church leaders covered up the sexual abuse of several children by a member who since has been excommunicated and imprisoned.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has adamantly denied the claims, which are connected to criminal prosecutions of Christopher Michael Jensen dating to 2004 in Berkeley County and Provo, Utah.

Jensen, now 26, is serving a 35- to 75-year prison sentence for his conviction in Berkeley County on two counts of sexual abuse and one count of sexual assault.

Jensen was convicted in February, 2013 of sexually abusing two boys while babysitting them in 2007, but the children didn't report what occurred until 2012, attorneys said.

A pool of 100 people is expected to be summoned to possibly serve as jurors in the civil trial, which is set to begin Jan. 16.

Abingdon vicar guilty of 'spiritually abusing' boy

ENGLAND
BBC News

January 8, 2018

A Church of England vicar has been convicted by a tribunal of spiritually abusing a teenage boy.

The Reverend Timothy Davis moved in with the boy's family in 2013 and held two-hour private prayer sessions in the boy's bedroom, the panel heard.

Mr Davis, of Christ Church, Abingdon, also tried to end the boy's relationship with his girlfriend, describing her as a "bad seed".

The Bishop's Disciplinary Tribunal said it would fix a penalty in due course.

Church of England officials said it was thought to be the first time a tribunal had convicted a priest of spiritual abuse.

Mr Davis lived with the family, who were members of his congregation, for six months in 2013.

'Unbecoming and inappropriate'

During the prayer sessions in the boy's bedroom they laid hands on each other's head, shoulders, chest and back, although the tribunal ruled there was no "sexual touching".

The boy's mother said she could not tell Mr Davis to stop because she was "frightened of the consequences to Tim and what God would do".

Church of England finds vicar guilty of spiritual abuse of 15-year-old boy

ENGLAND
The Guardian

January 8, 2018

By Harriet Sherwood

Tim Davis moved into boy’s Oxfordshire home and subjected him to intense prayer and Bible sessions in his bedroom

The Church of England has found a vicar guilty of spiritually abusing a teenage boy, after putting him under “unacceptable pressure” during intensive prayer and Bible-study sessions in the boy’s bedroom.

In the first judgment of its kind, a C of E tribunal found that the Revd Timothy Davis, the vicar of Christ Church, Abingdon, in Oxfordshire, was guilty of misconduct under clergy disciplinary measures.

The ruling was published on Monday as an online survey found that two-thirds of 1,591 respondents said they had personally experienced spiritual abuse.

The survey, carried out by Bournemouth University for the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS), a safeguarding charity, identified key characteristics of spiritual abuse as coercion and control, manipulation and pressuring of individuals, control through the misuse of religious texts and scripture, and providing a ‘divine’ rationale for behaviour”.

The bishops’ disciplinary tribunal for the diocese of Oxfordshire said that Davis was guilty of “conduct unbecoming to the office and work of a clerk of holy orders through the abuse of spiritual power and authority”. There was no suggestion of any sexual contact.

According to the 20-page judgment, Davis, who is in his 50s, became a mentor to a 15-year-old boy, named in the judgment as W1, in 2011. Over a period of 18 months, Davis “engaged in mentoring so intense that W1 was put under unacceptable pressure having regard to his age and maturity and was deprived of his freedom of choice as to whether to continue”.

It added: “Under the guise of his authority [Davis] sought to control by the use of admonition, scripture, prayer and revealed prophecy the life of W1 and/or his relationship with his girlfriend.”

During the 18 months, Davis moved into the family home, and engaged W1 in prayer and bible study for two-hour sessions in the boy’s bedroom. The vicar also went on holiday with the family.

W1 described being mentored by Davis as “awful” and all-consuming, but did not feel able to challenge the priest. He told the tribunal that Davis became angry if he did not ring him or respond to texts.

W1’s mother, who worked at the church, also felt unable to challenge Davis because he was her boss and had made it clear that God wanted his mentoring of W1 to continue. She told the tribunal she “was scared of going against God”.

Davis told the panel that he was “shocked and confused” about the allegations, and had “no idea of the effect I was apparently having”.

Clergy guidelines acknowledge the power that priests can have over others, and state such power must not be used to bully, manipulate or denigrate. Clergy should never seek to remove autonomy from a person, nor should power be exercised inappropriately, the guidelines say.

Oxfordshire vicar found guilty of spiritual abuse

ENGLAND
Premier.

January 8, 2018

By Marcus Jones

An Anglican priest, who's accused of spiritually abusing a teenager, has been found guilty of misconduct by a Church court.

Rev Timothy Davis, from Christ Church Abingdon, is said to have breached safeguarding procedures through an "intense" mentoring programme with the school boy who's not been identified.

A tribunal, held at Southwark Cathedral, found that the frequency of contact between the vicar and the teenager had grown to inappropriate levels including contact via telephone.

It also heard how mentoring sessions were held in the teenager's bedroom with the door closed - however no misconduct of a sexual nature was reported.

Davis was also found to have overused scripture in conversations with the teenager.

The guilty verdict on spiritual abuse is said to be the first of its kind.

A decision will now be made in regards to suitable punishment.

Associate pastor of Mascoutah church taken into police custody

MASCOUTAH (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

January 8, 2018

By Kaley Johnson

The associate pastor of Holy Childhood Church and school in Mascoutah was taken into police custody Monday morning, according to the state’s attorney.

The priest was identified as the Rev. Gerald R. Hechenberger.

“We have been working with Belleville (police) and the task force for several weeks and we anticipate they will be submitting evidence collected pursuant to a search warrant we issued within the next 48 hours to be reviewed for charges involving Gerald Hechenberger,” St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly said.

Earlier in the day, Belleville police issued a statement saying a Mascoutah resident was identified as being in possession of child pornography, but the police statement did not identify the resident. A police captain confirmed that Belleville police officers were at the church at 419 East Church St. around 7 a.m. Monday.

Nephew accuses archbishop

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

January 9, 2018

By Mindy Aguon

For the last 27 years, Mark Mafnas Apuron has held onto a secret, one that resulted in him being estranged from his immediate family members and left him ashamed and petrified.

"When my experience happened, I thought I was the only one," Apuron said, as he sat in an office in Hagåtña yesterday, speaking with The Guam Daily Post.

But Apuron resolved to make this year different by coming forward and speaking of the past.

The 43-year-old will be filing a lawsuit this week alleging that he was sexually abused in the chancery in 1990 by his uncle, now-suspended Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Mark Apuron was then 16 years old and had returned to Guam with his family after his dad retired from the military. He recalls going to his "Uncle Tony's house" – the Archdiocese of Agana Chancery Office – frequently for various functions.

Anthony Apuron was installed as the archbishop of Agana on May 11, 1986, according to the Archdiocese of Agana. He was also elected president of the Catholic Episcopal Conference of the Pacific in 1990.

During social functions at the chancery, Mark Apuron remembers making alcoholic beverages for his family members at their request, and would occasionally take a sip.

On one occasion in 1990, Mark Apuron sneaked away from the crowd to smoke a cigarette in his uncle's bathroom inside the chancery. While inside, sipping an alcohol mixed drink and puffing on a cigarette, the 16-year-old became distracted testing out the bottles of cologne displayed on his uncle's bathroom vanity.

"I just wanted to enjoy myself and do it in private, where nobody could see me," Mark Apuron said, explaining that he was a teen experimenting. "I just wanted to try it."

The next thing he knew, his uncle, Archbishop Anthony Apuron, was staring at him angrily.

"He asked, 'What are you doing?'" Mark Apuron said. He said he froze, afraid of what trouble he was in, when his uncle allegedly pulled down his pants and pushed him onto the vanity. The teen thought he was going to get a whipping for smoking and drinking but instead, he said, his uncle raped him. He managed to shove the older relative off and get away, and stayed with his parents until they were ready to leave.

OPINION: The #TimesUp Anger the Golden Globes Black Dress Parade Can’t Hide

UNITED STATES
The Daily Beast

January 8, 2018

By Tim Teeman

The black attire of celebrities at the Golden Globes was supposed to make an implicit ‘Time’s Up’ political point. But the business of showbusiness was also brutally apparent.

When is a dress more than a dress? Can a dress make a political point?

On Sunday night, if anything was refreshing about the Golden Globes red carpet, it was what was said, not the widely-hyped what was worn.

The talk, as repetitive and halting as it was—and sometimes focused on E!’s own shortcomings as Debra Messing, Sarah Jessica Parker and Eva Longoria took aim at the network over the circumstances of the departure of Catt Sadler—was of the need for political and cultural change.

Actresses and actors were dressed in black to signify support, along with pins, of the “Time’s Up” movement, targeting sexual abuse, assault and harassment in the workplace. People said “Time’s Up” a lot. Sure, the viewer thought at home: we’re agreed on that, now what?

If you were expecting revolution, the sight of dresses still costing thousands of dollars and expensive diamonds draped around perfectly proportioned necks should have provided a cooling corrective.

This was, in many ways, a very traditional red carpet. There was nobody in black T shirts, sweaters and jeans. No-one came in Bermuda shorts. The fashion statement was of the most conservative kind: the celebrities attending were wearing exactly the same kind of expensive dresses and tuxes that actors and actresses wear to awards ceremonies. They just happened to be black.

Rose McGowan Blasts ‘Hollywood Fakery’ Of Black-Dress Protest At Golden Globes

UNITED STATES
The Huffington Post

January 8, 2018

By Ron Dicker

The actress’ accusations against Harvey Weinstein helped bring attention to the issue of sexual misconduct in Hollywood.

Actress Rose McGowan said Sunday that it was “Hollywood fakery” for actors to wear black to the Golden Globes as a way to protest sexual misconduct.

McGowan, an actress and activist who has accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her, criticized the awards show in an impassioned Twitter exchange with Asia Argento, another alleged Weinstein victim.

When Argento pointed out that McGowan had spoken out about Weinstein and inspired others to step forward, the former “Charmed” star wrote in reply: “And not one of those fancy people wearing black to honor our rapes would have lifted a finger had it not been so. I have no time for Hollywood fakery, but you I love, @AsiaArgento #RoseArmy.”

When word spread in December that actresses planned to wear black dresses to the awards ceremony, McGowan zeroed in on Meryl Streep. She said the Oscar winner showed “hypocrisy” for having worked with Weinstein. Streep has insisted that she knew nothing of Weinstein’s alleged criminal behavior, and told HuffPost through a representative that she was hurt by McGowan’s comments.

Actress Amber Tamblyn said at the time that she was friends with McGowan but that those remarks had been beneath her.

“Rose McGowan is a friend and while I support her kind of movement, I do not support any woman (or man) shaming or taunting the movements of other women who are trying to create change,” Tamblyn tweeted.

4 former Boy Scouts file sex abuse lawsuits

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

January 8, 2018

By Mindy Aguon

Four new child sex abuse cases were filed last week in the Superior Court of Guam by former Boy Scouts against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts of America and retired priest Louis Brouillard.

Attorney Michael Berman represents four clients who allege they were sexually abused by Brouillard while they were Boy Scouts in their teens. The men filed the lawsuits using initials to protect their identities.

The archdiocese now faces more than 150 sex abuse lawsuits involving alleged child sex abuse decades ago, with combined claims for damages exceeding $500 million.

The accounts of abuse in these four complaints were similar as all four plaintiffs recalled alleged abuse during Boy Scout outings with Brouillard, who was a Guam priest and a scout master.

M.W.M., 53, alleges he was abused in the late 1970s during regular swimming and camping outings over the course of a year. Brouillard took the Boy Scouts swimming and would routinely instruct the boys to remove their clothes and swim naked, the lawsuit states.

The complaint also alleges Brouillard took photos of the boys while they were nude and swimming.

M.W.M. alleges he was fondled, and contends the priest enticed them with promises of merit badges and dinner.

GuideStone summit to tackle cybersecurity, sexual abuse

DALLAS (TX)
Baptist Standard

January 8, 2018

By Ray Hayhurst

DALLAS (BP)—Cybersecurity and sexual abuse in the church will be among the topics addressed at GuideStone Financial Resources’ second annual Employee Benefits Summit.

The Southern Baptist Business Officers Conference and GuideStone Benefits Forum merged last year to create the summit for church business leaders. The conference, slated for March 26–28 at The Westin Galleria in Dallas, offers an expanded menu of networking and training opportunities.

Speakers include Holly Boullion from CapinCrouse, who will cover cybersecurity, and Kimberlee Norris from MinistrySafe to address the topic of sexual abuse in the church, along with Gayla Crain, an employment law attorney.

Up to 11 qualifying hours will be available for Continuing Professional Education credit.

Texas church leader placed on leave in connection with Memphis pastor sex scandal

MEMPHIS (TN)
USA Today

January 8, 2018

By Ron Maxey

A Texas church has placed on leave a staff member who was on staff with Memphis pastor Andy Savage when Savage was involved in a sexual encounter with a 17-year-old.

The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, placed Larry Cotton on leave in connection with allegations made by Jules Woodson against Savage, whose title is now teaching pastor at Highpoint Church in East Memphis.

Monday's move by the Texas church is the latest twist in the story since the allegations against Savage came to light. Savage remains on staff at Highpoint, which has expressed support for him.

John Young, Austin Stone's director of communications, confirmed the action against Cotton on Monday by email.

More than 1,000 churchgoers complain of spiritual abuse

ENGLAND
The Telegraph

January 8, 2018

By Olivia Rudgard

Church-goers at mainstream churches have said they are being "spiritually abused" by leaders.

Research showed that more than 1,000 British Christians said they had experienced the abuse, which usually involves members invoking God's will or religious texts in order to punish or control and coerce a worshipper.

Two thirds of respondents to the survey carried out by Dr Lisa Oakley of the National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work at Bournemouth University said they had experienced spiritual abuse in the past.

Respondents said church leaders were also experiencing abuse from members of their own congregations.

Dr Oakley said: “There has been a focus in previous work in this area on leaders controlling and coercing those they lead, but a strong message in this research is that ministers and leaders also experience this form of abuse.

January 8, 2018

Chiesa cattolica: 250 casi di abusi sessuali segnalati in sette anni

BERN (SWITZERLAND)
TIO

January 7, 2018

[Google Translate: About 250 sexual abuses by the clergy have been reported to the Swiss Catholic Church since 2010. The accusations range from unsolicited contact to rape. The cases occurred between 1950 and today, as revealed by Le Matin Dimanche and SonntagsZeitung. More than 140 children and young people and 88 adults are involved.]

La Conferenza dei vescovi svizzeri: «Il 10% dei casi si è verificato negli ultimi otto anni»

BERNA - Circa 250 abusi sessuali da parte del clero sono stati segnalati alla Chiesa cattolica svizzera dal 2010. Le accuse vanno dal contatto non richiesto fino allo stupro. I casi si sono verificati tra il 1950 e oggi, come rivelano Le Matin Dimanche e SonntagsZeitung. Sono coinvolti più di 140 fra bambini e giovani e 88 adulti.

«Il 10% dei casi si è verificato negli ultimi otto anni, le vittime sono tutte persone adulte», ha dichiarato la Conferenza dei vescovi svizzeri.

Le aggressioni più gravi sono perseguite d’ufficio, dopo che le autorità religiose informano la giustizia, come è d’obbligo dal 2014. Alcune di queste indagini, però, sono svolte solo da persone della Chiesa, per il bene delle vittime che non vogliono sporgere denuncia.

A questo proposito, i magistrati sono scettici e mettono in guardia dal rischio che tali indagini non siano condotte correttamente. Il procuratore di San Gallo, Elmar Tremp, ha affermato attraverso le colonne del domenicale tedesco che «i casi gravi devono essere affrontati seriamente», spiegando che il personale ecclesiastico non può agire attraverso atti coercitivi come le perquisizioni o i sequestri, a volte necessari per prevenire ulteriori abusi.

Pressuring harassers to quit can end up protecting them

WASHINGTON (D.C.)
The Washington Post

January 5, 2018

By Katherine Ku

Katherine Ku is a corporate and securities partner in the Los Angeles office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. She clerked for Kozinski from 2003 to 2004 and for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from 2004 to 2005.

When I learned that Judge Alex Kozinski was retiring, after more than a dozen women accused him of inappropriate conduct and sexualized comments, part of me was relieved.

I clerked for Kozinski in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit 14 years ago and found his chambers to be a hostile, demeaning and persistently sexualized environment. I had anticipated an arduous apprenticeship with this brilliant jurist and writer. I did not expect how controlling he would be: wanting to approve the location of my apartment, complaining when his clerks wanted salad for lunch instead of whatever he was having. On one occasion, he crumpled up a printout of an email draft and threw it at me. He regularly diminished women and their accomplishments; when discussing newly selected Supreme Court clerks, he surmised, using a vulgar term, that one was lesbian. On another day, he gestured for me to come over to the computer in his office and asked me to look at a photo — unrelated to any case we were working on — of a nude man. For the rest of my year-long clerkship, I closed the door to my office and communicated with the judge as little as possible.

My experience was mild, though, compared with what other women have reported: how Kozinski showed them pornography on multiple occasions and wanted to know if it turned them on, asked them what people like them did for sex, encouraged them to exercise naked, propositioned them for sex and groped them even after they said no. In his resignation letter, Kozinski wrote that he has “always had a broad sense of humor” but apologized that he “may not have been mindful enough of the special challenges and pressures that women face in the workplace.” (His lawyer declined to comment on the characterizations in this essay.)

I’m glad to see him leave the bench. He should not be in a position to judge cases, including those involving sexual harassment.

The Sexual Assault Epidemic No One Talks About

UNITED STATES
National Public Radio

January 8, 2018

By Joseph Shapiro

Editor's note: This report includes graphic and disturbing descriptions of assault.

SPECIAL SERIES: abused and betrayed: people with intellectual disabilities and an epidemic of sexual assault

Pauline wants to tell her story — about that night in the basement, about the boys and about the abuse she wanted to stop.

But she's nervous. "Take a deep breath," she says out loud to herself. She takes a deep and audible breath. And then she tells the story of what happened on the night that turned her life upside down.

"The two boys took advantage of me," she begins. "I didn't like it at all."

Pauline is a woman with an intellectual disability. At a time when more women are speaking up about sexual assault — and naming the men who assault or harass them — Pauline, too, wants her story told.

Her story, NPR found in a yearlong investigation, is a common one for people with intellectual disabilities.

NPR obtained unpublished Justice Department data on sex crimes. The results show that people with intellectual disabilities — women and men — are the victims of sexual assaults at rates more than seven times those for people without disabilities.

It's one of the highest rates of sexual assault of any group in America, and it's hardly talked about at all.

Pauline was part of that silent population. But she says she decided to speak publicly about what happened to her because she wants to "help other women."

NPR's investigation found that people with intellectual disabilities are at heightened risk during all parts of their day. They are more likely than others to be assaulted by someone they know. The assaults, often repeat assaults, happen in places where they are supposed to be protected and safe, often by a person they have been taught to trust and rely upon.

Pauline is 46, with a quick smile and an easy laugh. (NPR uses rape survivors' first name, unless they prefer their full name be used.) She has red hair and stylish, coppery-orange glasses.

Former Texas youth minister Andy Savage admits to sexual assault of teen girl

HOUSTON (TX)
Houston Chronicle

January 7, 2018

By Heather Leighton

A former youth minister at a church in The Woodlands is admitting to sexually assaulting a teen in his youth group in 1998.

Andy Savage, currently a teaching pastor at Highpoint Church in Memphis, has admitted to sexually assaulting Jules Woodson. The abuse occured when she was a 17-year-old youth member at Savage's former employer, The Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church, which is now known as Stonebridge Church.

In an open letter published on the blog Watch Keep, Woodson shared her story.

According to the woman's open letter, the incident occurred while Savage was giving her a ride back to her mom's house following a meeting at the church.

Memphis Megachurch Stands By Pastor Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Teenager

MEMPHIS (TN)
The Huffington Post

January 7, 2018

By Dominique Mosbergen

Andy Savage acknowledged the 1998 encounter and said he remains “very remorseful” for “the pain I caused.”

Responding to a recent report that one of their pastors had allegedly sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl while serving as a youth minister at his previous church, leaders of a megachurch in Memphis, Tennessee, said they’d long known about the incident.

“This information is not new to me or to our leadership,” Chris Conlee, the lead pastor of Highpoint Church, said in a statement Friday. Earlier that day, The Wartburg Watch, a Christian blog, had published the account of a woman who’d accused Andy Savage, teaching pastor at Highpoint, of sexually abusing her in the late 1990s when she was a teenager.

“On behalf of the elders, pastors, staff, and Trustees of Highpoint, I want to affirm that we are 100% committed to Andy [Savage] … and his continued ministry at Highpoint Church,” Conlee said, stressing his “total confidence in the redemptive process Andy went through” after the sexual encounter.

Savage, an author and podcast host, acknowledged the “sexual incident” in a statement of his own.

“I was and remain very remorseful for the incident and deeply regret the pain I caused her and her family, as well as the pain I caused the church and God’s Kingdom,” he said.

Tennessee megachurch pastor accused of sexual assault

MEMPHIS (TN)
Fox13Memphis

January 7, 2018

A pastor of a Memphis, Tennessee, megachurch has been accused of sexual assault.

Andy Savage, of Highpoint Church, released a response to the accusations on social media platforms. Savage said he “had a sexual incident with a female high school senior" 20 years ago when he was a college student on staff at a Texas church.

He said he apologized immediately and asked for forgiveness from the victim, who was 17 at the time. Savage is coming forward after the woman shared her story on a blog, which is graphically detailed.

In the blog, the alleged victim detailed what happened and said she felt manipulated and used. She claimed she took her accusations to the church's leaders, but police were never called.

The blog also states she has recently filed a report with law enforcement, saying what happened to her was sexual assault.

Retired Vic priest in court over sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
9News

January 8, 2018

Men and women who were allegedly abused as children more than 30 years ago have begun giving evidence against a former Catholic priest accused of multiple child sex offences.

Retired priest Peter Maurice Waters, 72, appeared before Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday charged with 20 child sex offences between 1974 and 1987.

He is accused of sexually abusing six children.

Several complainants began giving evidence on Monday during a committal hearing that will determine whether Waters should stand trial.

Agencies work together to open Lenawee County Child Advocacy Center

ADRIAN (MI)
The Daily Telegram

January 7, 2018

By Lonnie Huhman

ADRIAN — Lenawee County finally has a service that it’s needed for a long time: a child advocacy center.

The Lenawee County Child Advocacy Center, a program of Catholic Charities of Jackson, Lenawee and Hillsdale Counties, announced Friday it will have a grand opening from 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 26. The ribbon cutting is at 4:30 p.m. The center is at 122 S. Broad St. in downtown Adrian.

“We’re excited about this because the community needs this,” said Sue Lewis, executive director for Catholic Charities of Jackson, Lenawee and Hillsdale Counties.

Lewis said the LCCAC is there to provide solutions to the increasing problem of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse in the Lenawee County community.

“I think the community needs to be aware these issues exist and why this center is needed,” Lewis said.

The center is a collaboration of the Lenawee County Prosecutor’s Office, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Child Protective Services, Lenawee Community Mental Health Authority, all law enforcement agencies in Lenawee County, ProMedica, the University of Michigan Child Protection Team and Catholic Charities. Leaders from these organizations make up the LCCAC steering committee.

“This truly is a community collaboration,” Lewis said.

Nichols probe: Loophole doesn't require private schools to report sexual misconduct

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

January 7, 2018

By Dan Herbeck

Three former administrators from Nichols School were criticized in an investigators' report for failing to take action against teachers involved in sexual misconduct or inappropriate relationships with their students.

If the administrators worked in public school systems, New York state laws would have required them to report such allegations immediately to law enforcement.

But because of a loophole in state law, there is no such requirement for administrators at private schools like Nichols.

"For a public school administrator, it's a crime not to report it. For a private school administrator, there's no law against failing to report it," said Stephen P. Forrester, director of government relations for the not-for-profit New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. "There is a huge loophole in state law, and it's long overdue to fix it."

Forrester and his organization are working with legislators on a proposed state law that would put the same requirements on private school administrators. One of the proposed law's big supporters is Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn.

Thousands of children who attend private schools throughout the state deserve the same protections as children in public schools, Flynn said.

"This is an issue that I have thought about since I first took office," Flynn said. "It's absolutely wrong, and I absolutely support changes in the law."

Flynn's comments came one day after Nichols released a report detailing its investigation into 10 teachers who had improper relationships with students over more than four decades. Nichols hired a Washington law firm to investigate last May after receiving a letter from Elizabeth Russ Mohr, a 1994 Nichols graduate who reported having a romantic and sexual relationship with her physics teacher at the school. Mohr was 17 at the time of the affair, and the teacher, Arthur Budington, was 48.

George Pell accuser dies before cardinal faces child sexual abuse trial

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

January 7, 2018

By Melissa Davey

Damian Dignan alleged Pell sexually assaulted him while he was a student in Ballarat East, which Pell denies

A man who publicly accused Australia’s most senior Catholic cardinal, George Pell, of child sexual abuse has died following a long illness.

Damian Dignan, who lived in the Victorian town of Ballarat, made allegations which were strenuously denied by Pell.

Dignan was one of a number of complainants who made allegations against Pell of historical sexual offences.

Dignan’s death was confirmed by his former partner, Sharon Rixon. “It is with great sadness that my best friend and the father of my children has passed away today,” she wrote on Facebook. “I will continue to love and guide and support our children through this difficult time.”

QC and former chief Victorian magistrate and crown prosecutor, Nicholas Papas, told Guardian Australia that Dignan’s death would affect the structure of Pell’s upcoming court case in Melbourne.

“The death of a witness if generally very serious and can affect whether the case proceeds or not,” he said. “But it’s not as simple as that, as there may be other evidence or witnesses. In a murder case, for example, the victim is obviously never there and yet a case can proceed. So it’s not that it’s unusual for witnesses to be dead, but in a case where an allegation involved historic sexual assault and there may be no other direct witnesses to that abuse, it can seriously affect the case.”

Trust in clergy in US declines to historic low, Gallup poll finds

UNITED STATES
The Christian Times

January 8, 2018

By Jardine Malado

A recent Gallup poll has found that less than half of Americans believe that clergy members are honest and have high ethical standards.

The poll, titled "Americans' Ratings of Honesty and Ethical Standards in Professions," has revealed that trust in the clergy has declined from a high of 67 percent in 1985 to its lowest rating of 42 percent in 2017.

The number of people who have said that clergy has "very high" or "high" honesty standards have dropped precipitously in 2002 amid the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. The clergy's ratings recovered slightly in the next few years, but it fell to 50 percent in 2009, and it has declined steadily since that time.

Clergy have been ranked behind judges (43 percent), day care providers (46 percent), police officers (56 percent), pharmacists (62 percent), medical doctors (65 percent), grade school teachers (66 percent), military officers (71 percent), and nurses (82 percent) as the most honest and ethical profession.

Religious breakdowns of the data provided to Christianity Today indicated that self-identified Christians are almost twice as likely to still have faith in religious leaders. Almost half of 776 Christian respondents said pastors had high ethical standards, but only a quarter of 236 non-Christian respondents agreed.

Non-Christians are more likely to trust grade school teachers, judges and newspaper reporters, while Christians are more likely to trust police officers, auto mechanics and business executives.

National childcare register: Dodgy operators named and shamed online

QUEENSLAND (AUSTRALIA)
The Courier-Mail

January 5, 2018

By Matthew Killoran

A CHILDCARE centre operated by a Pentecostal church and linked to a child sex abuse case is one of the Queensland centres that will today be named and shamed by the Federal Government for dodgy practices.

For the first time, childcare providers barred or suspended from receiving government rebates after breaking the rules or ripping off taxpayers and parents will be named in an online register to be published today.

There have been 21 sanctions and payment cancellations slapped on Queensland childcare centres since July 2016, including penalties for fraudulent claims, not passing on subsidies or falsifying records.

‘Their time is up’: Oprah’s inspiring Golden Globes speech

UNITED STATES
The Irish Times

January 8, 2018

‘A new day is on the horizon’: Oprah Winfrey thanks those who shared abuse stories

Oprah Winfrey became the first black woman to be awarded a Golden Globe for lifetime achievement on Sunday, delivering an impassioned speech in support of those who have exposed sexual misconduct in Hollywood and beyond.

Actor, movie and television producer, and chief executive of cable channel OWN, Winfrey (63) was celebrated as a role model for women and a person who has promoted strong female characters.

Her honour came in a year when the awards show, Hollywood’s first leading up to the Oscars, was dominated by a scandal that has seen the downfall of dozens of powerful men as women break years of silence.

Winfrey, who along with most of the show’s other attendees donned a black gown to show support for victims of sexual misconduct, was the first black woman to receive the annual Cecil B De Mille award, joining the likes of Meryl Streep, Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand and Sophia Loren.

Winfrey used her speech to praise women who have shared their stories of sexual harassment and abuse, and to declare that “a new day is on the horizon” for girls and women.

Lawsuits: Brouillard abused boys in plain view